Blackhawks don't answer Wild's do-or-die mindset

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 6, 2013 - 12:07 AM

Chicago players credited the Wild for playing with desperation while admitting they could have done more.

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was still looking for the puck while Zach Parise celebrated his go-ahead, third-period goal with Mikko Koivu. “They outplayed us,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of the Wild.

Photo: JEFF WHEELER • jwheeler@startribune.com ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

According to Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith, the Wild didn’t do anything that surprised Chicago on Sunday. Toews, the Blackhawks captain, and Keith, a veteran defenseman, didn’t see any shifts in strategy or any new twists from a team they know well.

The Wild, in fact, did exactly what both of them expected. Down 2-0 in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals, the Wild played with all the spirit and heart of a team desperate to win — and the Blackhawks, they said, did not.

Though the Blackhawks anticipated the Wild would show greater intensity and more physical play in its 3-2 victory Sunday at Xcel Energy Center, they were disappointed in their failure to match it.

The Wild outshot Chicago 37-27 and outhit the Blackhawks 34-13. Toews said his team tried too hard to make pretty plays, rather than simply getting the puck to the net and trying to create havoc in front of Wild goaltender Josh Harding. While Toews praised the performance of goaltender Corey Crawford, who made a season-high 34 saves, the Chicago center wished the rest of the roster would have given the same effort.

“[The Wild] just took it to another level, and that’s something we’ve got to be ready for next time,” said Toews, who led the Blackhawks with 48 points in the regular season but has none in this series. “We didn’t dictate the game for 60 minutes tonight. They did.

“It’s more up to us than anything. … When we focus on what we have to do and how we can bring our best intensity and best effort, we’re a very difficult team to handle. We didn’t make them worry about us and what we were doing quite enough.’’

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville liked his team’s start. For the first 10 minutes — until a penalty on Viktor Stalberg put the Wild on its first power play — he said Chicago displayed playoff-caliber energy and drive.

Though the Wild did not score on the power play, Quenneville said it ignited the announced crowd of 19,238 and drained the Blackhawks’ momentum. Johnny Oduya’s goal at 13 minutes, 26 seconds of the first period got Chicago on the board first, but the Wild began to take control and spend more time in the Blackhawks zone.

Chicago didn’t consistently regain its form until the final seven minutes of the third period, culminating in Keith’s tying goal with 2:46 left in regulation.

“They outplayed us,’’ Quenne­ville said. “They played like they had to win, and we didn’t.’’

Chicago’s top line of Toews, Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa has not scored at even strength in the series, and their power play — which came up empty on two opportunities Sunday — has one goal on nine chances. Quenneville urged his team to shoot more on the power play and to stand its ground in front of the net, agreeing with Toews that the Blackhawks must produce some “greasy goals’’ to succeed against the Wild.

Keith and Toews want to see the Blackhawks get back to their strengths in Tuesday’s Game 4, relying on their team speed and skill to grab hold of the game. But Sunday should serve as a reminder, they said, that the Blackhawks never expected to cruise through the first round.

“We’ve always had the mindset this would be a tough series,’’ Keith said. “They’ve got a lot of great players, and we have a lot of respect for them. They deserved to win. ’’

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close