Everything Else

Box Score

Event Summary

Extra Skater

The Wild were never going to let it be pretty. While they’ve varied their approach in the first four games, from period to period even, a pivotal Game 5 on the road saw them fall back into the trap that gave the Hawks headaches in Game 3. But after a jittery opening 5-10 minutes, the Hawks started to come to grips with what they saw. And despite conceding the opener as a direct result of a pick play that Stockton and Malone would have been proud of that opened up space for Terror From Hell Erik Haula, the Hawks began to get a tighter and tighter grip on this one.

It was far from perfect. While the Hawks support was better, they were more willing to try the middle of the ice to get out of the zone, to chip and chase, the execution was off. Every time Oduya tried to field a pass or puck along the boards, my eyeballs rolled back in my head. Keith was trying far too much dip-trip-rip-fantasia behind his goal line and at Minny’s blue line. Nick Leddy looks terrified to make a mistake (wonder why that may be). Because what the Hawks have to do when a team pinches down on them along the boards in their zone has to be so precise, when it doesn’t work it can get urpy.

But they slowly got better, got their goal to tie it, worked to get their second and then squeezed the rest out. They had to get through some chances but it didn’t feel like Crawford had to drink the blood of virgins to get through the final 10 minutes.

All that adds up to a series lead.

Let’s do it.