Hawks take the panic out of pressure

May, 1, 2013
5/01/13
12:54
AM CT
Greenberg By Jon Greenberg
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- When Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom left the ice with an injury before the game started, Chicago Blackhawks fans probably expected an easy win over backup goalie Josh Harding.

Maybe the Blackhawks did, too.

The last time the Hawks faced Harding on Jan. 30, he was pulled from the game after two goals in the first seven minutes. Harding, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the fall, hasn't started a game since then, and played only twice.

But this is the playoffs, after all, and in the NHL it's often hard to tell the seeds apart, let alone the dominant goaltenders (read: Corey Crawford) from the benchwarmers.

That's why everyone loves the Stanley Cup playoffs. The game begins with a goalie change and ends with Bryan Bickell celebrating an overtime goal.

Read the entire column.

Jon Greenberg

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com. He has lived and worked in Chicago since 2003, and is a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Chicago.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
36 16 20 9
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 16
AssistsP. Kane 20
+/-K. Versteeg 15
GAAC. Crawford 2.00