It was the end of April when the Blackhawks began what turned into their second Stanley Cup run in the past four seasons. Spring was taking its good-old sweet time blooming, every player as still healthy (relatively, anyway) and the Blackhawks were preparing for their first-round series against the Minnesota Wild.
And while coach Joel Quenneville pointed out the Blackhawks hadn’t come close to playing their best hockey, the team was nonetheless on its way to one tremendous postseason odyssey.
With the convention still more than two weeks away and players likely starting their days with the Cup, it’s time to relive that remarkable postseason run on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, beginning Sunday with the Blackhawks’ Western Conference quarterfinal victories against the Wild. Games 1, 2, 4 and 5 will be shown, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
[RELIVE THE MAGIC: The Blackhawks' "2013 Road to the Cup"]
It was an interesting series from a few standpoints, beginning with Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom suffering a lower-body injury before Game 1 even commenced. But against a fully loaded and healthy Blackhawks team, Wild backup Josh Harding performed well. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, didn’t play their best hockey during the series. Whether it was the Wild bottling them up or they’re not finding their way yet, Quenneville expressed his need to see better across the board.
Ultimately, however, the Blackhawks still had more firepower. Patrick Sharp scored five of his 10 postseason goals against the Wild. Patrick Kane wasn’t tallying goals, but was feeding teammates for plenty. And Corey Crawford, after giving up an iffy one to Cal Clutterbuck to start the series, buckled down and became the stopper the Blackhawks needed between the pipes.
Defensively, the Blackhawks did their job. Zach Parise, acquired in one of the Wild’s two blockbuster trades the previous summer, was held to just one goal in those five games. The Blackhawks gave up just seven Wild goals in the series. Oh and Duncan Keith, playing Game 4 on little sleep after he and his wife welcomed their first child earlier that day, played just under 24 minutes.
No, the Blackhawks didn’t put their best postseason foot forward in that first-round. But they would gain steam as the postseason progressed. But we’ll get to that later. Right now, enjoy that first round again.
Here's the complete CSN Replay schedule:
|GAME||OPPONENT||RESULT||CSN REPLAY AIR DATE|
|Game 1||vs. Wild||Hawks 2, Wild 1 (OT)||Sun., 7/14 1:30 p.m.|
|Game 2||vs. Wild||Hawks 5, Wild 2||Sun., 7/14 4:00 p.m.|
|Game 4||@ Wild||Hawks 3, Wild 0||Sun., 7/14 7:00 p.m.|
|Game 5||vs. Wild||Hawks 5, Wild 1||Sun., 7/14 10:30 p.m.|
|Game 1||vs. Red Wings||Hawks 4, Red Wings 1||Mon., 7/15 10:00 a.m.|
|Game 5||vs. Red Wings||Hawks 4, Red Wings 1||Mon., 7/15 12:30 p.m.|
|Game 6||@ Red Wings||Hawks 4, Red Wings 3||Mon., 7/15 3:00 p.m.|
|Game 7||vs. Red Wings||Hawks 2, Red Wings 1 (OT)||Mon., 7/15 7:00 p.m.|
|Game 1||vs. Kings||Hawks 2, Kings 1||Tue., 7/16 10:00 a.m.|
|Game 2||vs. Kings||Hawks 4, Kings 2||Tue., 7/16 12:30 p.m.|
|Game 4||@ Kings||Hawks 3, Kings 2||Tue., 7/16 3:00 p.m.|
|Game 5||vs. Kings||Hawks 4, Kings 3 (2OT)||Tue., 7/16 7:00 p.m.|
|Game 1||vs. Bruins||Hawks 4, Bruins 3 (3OT)||Wed., 7/17 10:00 a.m.|
|Game 2||vs. Bruins||Bruins 2, Hawks 1 (OT)||Wed., 7/17 12:30 p.m.|
|Game 3||@ Bruins||Bruins 2, Hawks 0||Wed., 7/17 3:00 p.m.|
|Game 4||@ Bruins||Hawks 6, Bruins 5 (OT)||Wed., 7/17 7:00 p.m.|
|Game 5||vs. Bruins||Hawks 3, Bruins 1||Thu., 7/18 3:00 p.m.|
|Game 6||@ Bruins||Hawks 3, Bruins 2||Thu., 7/18 7:00 p.m.|
|Blackhawks Parade and Rally||Thu., 7/18 10:30 p.m.|