Five Things from Game 2: 'Our best game all the way around'


Five Things from Game 2: 'Our best game all the way around'

Sometimes, it’s all about opportunities. When they present themselves, you have to take advantage of them.

The Blackhawks found that out first-hand on Sunday night when they got several chances via the Minnesota Wild and capitalized, taking a 4-1 victory in Game 2 and a 2-0 lead in this second-round series. From Jonathan Toews’ short-handed goal off a 2-on-0 play to Patrick Kane’s two goals, the Blackhawks took what was given and took off.

Just because they’re up 2-0 doesn’t mean they can relax. The Wild will be angry and determined to even this series at home, where they were very good this season. But before we delve into what could happen in Game 3, let’s look at the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ Game 2 victory.

1. Corey Crawford rebounds. Minus an ugly goal from Matt Dumba early in the third period, Crawford was stalwart in Game 2. He always talks confidence but there’s no doubt he was shaken during Game 1, especially with the Wild scoring three times in the first 10 minutes of the second period that night. When the Blackhawks needed Crawford on Sunday, he was there. Big stops on Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise in the second period, not long after the Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead, drew the “Co-rey” chants. “They had a couple of big flurries in the game but Corey was outstanding in those situations,” said coach Joel Quenneville. “He kept the momentum going our way even though they had a couple of good looks.”

[RELATED: Stars shine bright as Blackhawks down Wild in Game 2]

2. Patrick Kane hits another milestone. Well, we’re calling 101 postseason points a milestone, anyway. It’s an impressive number for the 26-year-old, whose two goals on Sunday night have brought him to that total. He was one of several of the Blackhawks stars who had a strong night. Said Patrick Sharp of Kane: "No drop-off from the regular season. If anything he steps it up. It seems like he’s always scoring big goals. He’s a guy who wants the puck on his stick at all times and you love that as a teammate.”

3. Mistakes cost the Wild. When the Wild is playing at their best, they're a tough team to beat. Just look at what they were able to do from mid-January to April to even get to the postseason after an awful start. But the Wild’s miscues on Sunday hurt. Ryan Suter finished the night a minus-3 and Thomas Vanek was a minus-4. Said Wild coach Mike Yeo of his team’s uncharacteristic outing: “We didn’t make those mistakes. I don’t know what team played that game, but it wasn’t us tonight. It was 0-0 through the midway point of the game. We were doing some OK things without the puck to keep it at 0-0, but with the puck, like I said, that’s not us.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up for the playoff run, Blackhawks fans!]

4. Teuvo Teravainen improving each game. This series is only two games old but the youngster is having a nice showing in it. After recording the game-winner on Friday night, Teravainen grabbed a loose puck and fed it to Patrick Sharp, who scored to restore the Blackhawks’ two-goal lead in the third period. Said Quenneville on Teravainen: “He comes up with a lot of loose pucks. He has good play recognition [and he] made some nice plays off the rush individually and had some decent looks. You like his game both sides, both ways, and he keeps getting better.”

5. Goodbye to Crawford’s black mask. The mask Crawford got for the postseason suffered a costly dent when Marco Scandella’s shot nailed Crawford flush in it on Sunday night. The first concern was obviously for Crawford. He looked a little off not long after that shot but there was no immediate stoppage of play. He stopped a puck or two and then switched masks, going back to his white one, when play was stopped. “Yeah, it was a new one,” said Crawford, who then channeled White Sox play-by-play man Hawk Harrelson. “He gone.”

Hawks Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Blackhawks No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach


Hawks Talk Podcast: 1-on-1 with Blackhawks No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach

After being introduced to the media, Blackhawks third-overall pick Kirby Dach sits down with Charlie Roumeliotis to talk about what it's like to join the historic Original Six franchise, why he wears the number 77 and how he plans on breaking camp in the NHL this fall.

0:35 – Kirby Dach joins the podcast

0:55 – Dach on the history of the Blackhawks

1:25 – His conversations with Kane and Toews

1:40 – The whirlwind after the draft process

2:10 – His meetings with the Blackhawks at the combine

2:50 – What draft day was like

3:23 – On his competitive nature

3:40 – How much hockey does he watch?

4:20 – How his game translates to playoff hockey

4:50 – Why he wears No. 77

5:10 – Will he wear 77 in the NHL?

5:30 – His offseason plans

6:10 – His goal of making the NHL right away

6:25 – Winning the Cup would be…

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


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'Winning to me is everything': Kirby Dach wants to play big role in helping Blackhawks win more Stanley Cups

'Winning to me is everything': Kirby Dach wants to play big role in helping Blackhawks win more Stanley Cups

Three days after he became the sixth player in franchise history to be taken third overall, the Blackhawks welcomed Kirby Dach to Chicago on Monday for the first time to show him around his new organization. He was given a tour of Fifth Third Arena, the Blackhawks locker room and plans to explore the city over the next few days.

"It's been crazy," Dach said of the last 72 hours. "After hearing my name called, I didn't hear anything or remember anything. I had to watch the video over a couple times to remember what happened, I kind of just blacked out in the moment and enjoyed it. I flew home two days ago and flew here [Sunday] and it's been awesome. The facility here is first class and I can't wait to get started in a couple weeks in [development] camp."

It's an exciting day for the organization and the city of Chicago because the Blackhawks are adding an elite prospect during a time where they're retooling for a chance to win another Stanley Cup.

"This is an important day for us for a couple reasons," GM Stan Bowman said. "I've had a chance to get to know Kirby over the last few months and I think as you guys get a chance to talk to him and hear from him, you're going to find out that he's really committed to being the best he can be and to making the Blackhawks an elite team.

"The other thing is we talk about what makes a player important in today's NHL. People say you've got to have a high skill level and being able to create offense is important. Other people are going to say you look at the way the playoffs were played and skill's great but you've got to have size and competitiveness. So that's the more important attribute. When you look at the game that Kirby brings to Chicago, he's got a little bit of everything. He's got the skill to play with the high-skill players. He can make plays that can wow you. He's also got the competitiveness to show that he wants it more than anyone else. I think we've got a special player here and as you'll see we're excited for what's to come."

Dach, who's a 6-foot-4, 198-pound center, is the kind of player you build around and he's already joining a group that features three-time Stanley Cup champions Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews. He already received phone calls from Kane and Toews welcoming him to the franchise.

"Growing up as a kid in Canada, you're always watching hockey," Dach said. "And when they were winning Stanley Cups all the time in Chicago here — with the three in the six years — Toews and Kane, Keith and Seabrook, were a big part of that. And to be in a dressing room with those guys now is pretty surreal, and those are the moments you dream of as a kid. To have it come true, you have to take a step back and realize that."

While he may have looked up to them as a kid, Dach is now part of the group and wants to play a large role on a team that wins not just one more championship but several.

"Winning to me is everything," Dach said. "There's a saying, 'You gotta hate to lose before you like to win.' And I hate to lose so anything I do I always have to win no matter what it is. It's something that drives me and the ultimate goal in hockey is to win the Stanley Cup and I'm going to work as hard as I can and push myself to every limit to get there because that's what I want to do.

"Obviously Chicago's had a couple runs here in the past where they've been able to do that and I want to be a part of those runs and be a key member of those teams."

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