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posted: 5/6/2014 5:30 AM

Blackhawks' depth gives them edge over Wild

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  • Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, making a second-period save in Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild, just keeps getting the job done this postseason.

       Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, making a second-period save in Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild, just keeps getting the job done this postseason.
    Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

The Blackhawks went up 2-0 against the Minnesota Wild with a 4-1 victory Sunday at the United Center, and it seems the Wild has been outmatched by the Hawks' depth and experience.

I see the series ending sooner than later as the tournament-tested Hawks keep delivering.

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The usual cast of characters -- Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa -- is performing at a high level, but it's goalie Corey Crawford who just keeps getting it done.

I am somewhat mystified by the criticism he receives; it doesn't seem justified.

The series is far from over, but if you're a Blackhawks fan you have to be feeling good. I know I am.

Too late, NFL:

The NFL moved the NFL draft to a later date this year, with the first round this Thursday as opposed to late April last year.

It was a big mistake, in my book. I know their goal is to be pertinent every second and every minute of every single day, but the late start just made them a rumor the last couple of weeks.

There has been no shortage of other big stories between the NBA playoffs, the NHL tournament, the Floyd Mayweather fight, California Chrome winning the Kentucky Derby, and throw in the Donald Sterling saga.

Now there is no doubt the draft, once it starts, will be the big news, but the multitude of mock drafts has become tedious. Just get on with it; we don't care anymore.

It would have been fun the last couple of weeks to discuss the draft picks and whom the Bears selected the last couple of weeks.

The draft was fine where it was, but the NFL likes to fix things that aren't broken. I still hope the April date returns next year.

Now that the day is almost -- finally -- upon us, all I can say to Bears fans is defense, defense, defense. Hopefully the Bears will be announcing their defensive selections this week.

Mixed bag for baseball:

OK, Cubs and White Sox fans, are you disinterested yet?

As a Sox fan it's a mixed bag right now. Their under-.500 record was predictable, but Jose Abreu's play has made the early part of the season somewhat watchable. The injured Chris Sale (left flexor muscle strain) also has taken some wind out of the sail, no pun intended.

The Cubs had a good run against the Cardinals, and winning against St. Louis gives the team some much-needed confidence.

But my grade for the first part of the season for both teams combined is a D-plus.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter @north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio. Catch my show from 7-11 a.m. Sundays, and check me out on iHeartRadio or foxsportsradio.com.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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