Blackhawks' defense not making things easy for Wild

Blackhawks' defense not making things easy for Wild
May 4, 2014, 7:30 pm
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Nina Falcone

The Minnesota Wild weren't off to an ideal start in Game 2 on Sunday, recording just two shots on net throughout the opening period against the Blackhawks.

Part of that was on their offense being unable to generate anything near the Hawks' net. The other part was the Blackhawks' defense throwing their bodies in front of every shot directed Corey Crawford's way.

"They don’t give up much. They’re great at blocking shots," Cody McCormick said following Minnesota's 4-1 loss in Game 2. "Any soft shots going toward their net, they’re turning it the other way. We’re going to look at everything and be well-prepared the next game."

[MORE: Wild face another two-game deficit following loss to Blackhawks]

Minnesota's offense picked things up as the evening went on, ending up with a total of 19 shots on net by the end of the game. But the Blackhawks recorded a whopping 25 blocked shots, including six from Brent Seabrook and four from Niklas Hjalmarsson — who took one to the neck/throat and didn't miss a shift.

"They're good. They play a good system, they're a mobile D," Zach Parise said. "They block a lot of shots, they're so good with the puck. They make good plays they they spring their forwards, and I think we can probably do a better job against them, making them work."

[RELATED: Blackhawks take down Wild in Game 2, grab 2-0 series lead]

Similarly to Friday night, the Wild weren't terribly upset with their overall performance Game 2; they still feel they're close to getting right back in this series. But they definitely have their list of thing they'd like to improve on before returning to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4.

Part of that will be finding a way to get past the Blackhawks' defense.

"As a group, they're a well-rounded team. As much as everyone talks about how good they are offensively, they're very good defensively," Kyle Brodziak said. "We have to find a way to just sustain some more pressure in their end and try not to force as many plays. When we're doing that, they're breaking out of the zone and we're getting back into our end.

"I think it's important that we not only focus on getting in their zone, but finding a way to keep it there. Try to find a way to wear them down that way."