If you think Joel Quenneville and his Chicago Blackhawks are sweating their Game 3 loss to the Wild, think again. The defending Stanley Cup champions don’t sweat the small stuff and the loss (their first in seven playoff games) was more of a little bump in the road and not of the bone jarring pot hole variety.
“I didn’t mind our first 40 minutes,” said Quenneville. “Scoring first was obviously a big difference in today’s game and the crowd electrified and they got another one after that. I just think that we had the start we were looking for, played the right way, there’s not a lot of time, not a lot of space. The more plays you try to make, it ends up in your net.”
The Wild held the Hawks to just 19 shots on goal in Game 3 continuing the trend of holding the defending champs to 22 shots or less in each of the first three games of the series.
“Defensively, they’re about as tight as a team we’re going to play this year,” said Quenneville. “It’s like we said at the top of the series, St. Louis and Minnesota is going to be a chance series. After 40 minutes that was as low as you can get.”
In the first two games in Chicago, the Blackhawks scored nine goals in those 44 combined shots. Tuesday night, they couldn’t solve Ilya Bryzgalov and gave up four goals in the third period allowing the Wild back in the series.
“You win six in a row in the playoffs and you should be happy,” said Quenneville Every series is tight. It’s hard to win one game let alone six. We’ve got a couple of days off going into Friday. Let’s get excited about what we could have done tonight knowing it’s going to be a tough building here on Friday. We had the start we were looking for, but scoring first was key tonight.”
Scoring first will be paramount on Friday night as the Blackhawks look to take Game 4 on Friday night at Xcel Energy Center against the Wild.