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Stars Dimmed and Game Day Hawks vs Wild

April 7, 2024, 4:33 PM ET [158 Comments]
Zach Jarom
Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Yesterday afternoon, I talked about the Hawks having the chance to be a speed bump in the Stars road to clinching the top spot in the West and possibly even the entire league. To say my confidence in that actually being a reality was low would be a gross understatement. You had a team coming in on an 8-game win streak, playing like a well-oiled machine, and to top it off, you had not let up a goal in over seven and a half periods of hockey. The realist in me understood that this one had the chance to get very ugly very fast. If you look at the game stats, you would be right in thinking there was zero chance the Hawks won this game. Dallas just owned the Hawks in the first out, shooting them 14-6, and like he has all year, Mrazek absolutely played out of his mind, keeping this one tied after one. Moving on to the second period, this is where things got interesting. The Stars once again dominated the Hawks by outshooting them 23-5; however, the Hawks took full advantage of their opportunities and were able to find the back of the net three times. The first goal came from Connor Bedard on the power play, Bedard proving why it was a mistake to give him space as he was able to take the puck in from the side board and put a perfectly placed shot on the far side of the net for the power play goal. Bedard just continues to prove why he is going to be the Rookie of the Year and why teams are going to fear him. Just over a minute later, the Hawks are able to find the back of the net once more as Andreas Athanasiou gets his first of the year. What made this goal so beautiful was Luikas Reichel; he was able to split through three star plays, and as he was falling, he had the awareness to drop it back to Athanasiou. Say what you will about Reichel, but he has been great since getting the call back up to Chicago and showing flashes of what he can do. Hopefully, he will be able to figure out how to play more consistently like this and become the threat that he was projected to be when he was drafted. The last Hawks goal came just under three minutes later off an absouletlet beautiful passing display by Mackenzie Entwistle and Ryan Donato. This play all started when Entwistle picked up the puck off a rebound from Mrazek and was able to break loose out of the zone. He drops it off to Donato at the blue line, who held on for less than a second before firing it to a breaking Seth Jones, who was able to blow it past Wedgewood for his 8th of the season. Plays like this just really make you enjoy the game, and it has been great seeing these guys play so well here at the end of the season. Behind the 42 save effort from Mrazek, the Hawks complete the upset over the Dallas Stars by a score of 2-1.

Next Up
The Hawks won’t have to wait long for a chance to build off this one, as they are set to take on the Minnesota Wild this afternoon. Spoiler season continues for the Hawks, as a win will all but seal what we already know: the Wild will be missing the playoffs this year. They currently sit at 81 points with six games to go and are 11 points back of the wild card spots. Today could be a mercy killing, and the Hawks could just end the pain and suffering for the Wild fanbase. Minnesota comes into this one 4-4-2 over their last 10 games and is currently on a two-game skid as they lost last night 4-2 against the Winnipeg Jets. The Wild will turn to their top goalie prospect, Jesper Wallstedt, in this one. Wallstedt was the 20th overall pick in the 2021 entry-level draft and has been playing this past season with the Iowa Wild, posting a 21-19-3 record and a.908 save percentage. This is a good time for the Wild to see what they have in Wallstedt, as they may be looking to replace Marc-Andre Fleury. MAF stated that he will only continue his career with the Wild, and if they choose to move on, he will hang them up.

Projected Line Up
Like yesterday, with it being an early afternoon game, there is no morning skate, so there are no projected lines at this time. Arvid Soderblom should get the call in the net and look to go for his second straight win. It will be interesting to see if Taylor Raddysh gets back into the lineup after being healthy-skinned yesterday. Regardless, it will be a fun game to watch, as this team has been finding their game a bit. Since March 5th, they hold an 8-6 record and are playing above average. 500 Hockey is great for this young group to give them a taste of what it feels like and motivate them going into the off-season to do what it takes to bring their game to the next level and help the franchise take the next step into the rebuild.

Thats going to be it for me, puck drop is set for 2:30pm central time and as always, Lets Go Hawks.

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