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Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad: Wild 5, Blackhawks 0

Yikes.

Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks
Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild approaches the puck ahead of Philipp Kurashev of the Chicago Blackhawks
Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks lost 5-0 to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night at the United Center, an excruciating game after an excruciating day for those affiliated with the organization.

The first period ended on a prime opportunity for Seth Jones near the front of the net but the defenseman was unable to capitalize on what could be defined as the most high-danger of chances.

That would be one of the few good chances for the Blackhawks during the game, as the Wild scored three goals in the second period and added two more in the third.

Frederick Gaudreau started the scoring less than five minutes into the middle frame, with Mats Zuccarello scoring about two minutes later.

Before the end of the second period, Kirill Kaprizov scored after a pass from Zuccarello, who stole the puck from Kirby Dach right outside the defensive zone.

The Blackhawks had one more great chance at a goal before the middle 20 minutes were over, as the line of Ryan Carpenter and Brandon Hagel got a rebound chance at net-front but failed to capitalize.

Kevin Fiala scored in the third period as Marc-Andre Fleury failed to make a kick save, making the score 4-0 in the Wild’s favor.

Nico Sturm scored shortly after to make it 5-0.

Collin Delia came in before the end of the game in relief of Fleury, and made saves on all five shots he faced.

Notes

  • This is probably a game you turned off after the second period, if you made it that long. Between the Blackhawks not showing up, it being right before the All-Star break, a late start and other things on television (MJF and CM Punk finally wrestled) — as well as that horrible press conference from ownership — not a good day to be Blackhawks-affiliated.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury had a rough one. Fleury made just 25 saves on 30 shots, facing just 1.67 expected goals against. Fleury was also tasked with just three high-danger shots against in his 51 minutes in net.
  • This was a game the Blackhawks played much closer than the final score. At 5-on-5, the Blackhawks actually created more high-danger chances than Minnesota (11-6) and were almost equal in expected goals (1.99 to 2.01), but Cam Talbot and Fleury were on two very different levels throughout the game.
  • Kirby Dach and Seth Jones had the two best chances to score for the Blackhawks, each generating 0.24 expected goals. Dylan Strome was third on the team with 0.21 expected goals.
  • Dominik Kubalik and Alex DeBrincat each took just one shot in this game. You know things are bad when Sam Lafferty — out there with the duo on one shift — is the one shooting.
  • The Blackhawks’ strange usage of their sixth defenseman continues, as Wyatt Kalynuk played less than eight minutes. For what purpose does Jones need to play 26 minutes in this game? It was almost over the second Minnesota added a second goal. And he still plays nearly half an hour?
  • The Blackhawks’ penalty kill allowed just two shots in 1:58 and still there was a goal against. There was just 0.1 expected goals against the shorthanded units and nothing from high-danger. The Blackhawks’ power play was technically the better unit of the opposing man advantages, they just couldn’t capitalize.
  • The All-Star break couldn’t come fast enough the last month or so.

Game Charts

Three stars

  1. Cam Talbot (MIN) — 30 SV, SO
  2. Mats Zuccarello (MIN) — 1 G, 1 A
  3. Frederick Gaudreau (MIN) — 1 G, 1 A

What’s next?

The Blackhawks head into the NHL All-Star break, with Alex DeBrincat being the only player heading to Las Vegas. They’ll come out of the break on the road on Wednesday, Feb. 9 against the Edmonton Oilers.