Chicago Blackhawks v Minnesota Wild

With the playoffs on the horizon, I wanted to put together previews of each series, but more specifically, I wanted to put together the type of previews I’d want to read. Bite-sized, few stats, some opinion, and maybe a look back at a key moment between the teams. This is my attempt at providing that.

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1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. 8) Minnesota Wild

Head-to-Head in 2013: 2-1 Blackhawks

A stat: The Minnesota North Stars and Chicago Blackhawks played each other six times in 10 years (82-91). Wild/Blackhawks have never played each other in playoffs.

Goal differentials: Blackhawks: +53, Wild: -5
Shots-per-game: Blackhawks: 31.1 (5th), Minnesota: 28.8 (17th)
Shots-against-per-game: Blackhawks: 26.2 (4th), Minnesota: 27.1 (6th)

Goalies:

CHI: Corey Crawford, .926 save percentage, 1.94 goals-against average
MIN: Niklas Backstrom, .909 save percentage, 2.48 goals-against average

Top scorers: 

MIN: Zach Parise, 38 points in 48 games
CHI: Patrick Kane, 55 points in 47 games

Reason to watch: To see if Minnesota can find a way to keep their head above water. Between the Kane/Toews/Sharp/Hossa thing, the great d-corps and the proven success this season (Presidents’ Trophy, y’all), odds are pretty heavily in the Blackhawks favour.

Lately: Minnesota: 4-5-1, Chicago: 7-2-1

Injuries (via NHL.com): Emery (lower body) and center Dave Bolland (undisclosed) are each day-to-day. … For the Wild, Pominville (head) is day-to-day and Dany Heatley (left shoulder) is out the remainder of the season.

News: Both Ray Emery and Dave Bolland are going to miss at least the first game.

First game: Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. EST

Flippant barstool opinion: Wild are gonna get smoked.

Closing thought:

By now everyone is aware of the top-end talent that Chicago has up front, but you shouldn’t overlook how solid they are on the back-end. Having good defenders allows your talented players to get more touches, and as we know with skill players, they’re going to convert at a certain rate – the more opportunities they’re given, the more goals they’re going to put on the board.

Prediction: Blackhawks in four.

Your NHL.com preview:

 

Comments (10)

  1. This series, from a superstitious stand scares the piss outta me! when the Hawks last won a Presidents Trophy they were beat by the NorthStars…of MN…where are the Wild from? yeah…grrr!

    • That has absolutely no statistical relevance to this series at all.

      • I’m guessing that’s why he said it was about superstition, instead of saying it was statistics. I guess your reply has no relevance to his comment at all.

  2. If the Wild can steal game 1, watch out for a longer series. If Chicago wins game 1, lights out; 4 or 5 game series. The Wild have a bad record this year when trailing.

  3. no chance for the wild. hawks are too skilled and can break the game wide open.
    hawks sweep cuz i said so.

  4. Wild in 7 after Kane, Toews, Hossa, and Sharp are injured by Clutterbuck and Konopka. Woo!

  5. Hawks in 6.

    Wild will steal a couple, but the Hawks overmatch them in well…pretty much every way.

  6. Boy oh boy, the Wild really have no chance in this series. Backstrom looked so good for a couple of seasons. What happened to all that potential?

    Hey, maybe Parise will once again disappear for the playoffs, just like he did with the Devils several times, or perhaps he’ll decide he has something to play for now that his buddy is on his team with him.

    Doesn’t matter. The Wild shouldn’t even be in the playoffs. It should be Lumbus. LUUUMMMMMBUUUUUUSSSS!

  7. The Hawks will go as deep as their goaltending enables them….toss the regular season save percentage out of the equation, because all Corey Crawford is thinking about right now is how bad he choked last year vs Phoenix….Chicago should have knocked the Coyotes out with ease….if Crawford lets a weak goal in early in game 1 then all bets are off….hopefully the Hawks improved defence can hide the goaltending like it did in the regular season….

  8. Hawks in 6, if something happens to Crawford, depending upon Emery’s health. In reality, I hope the Wild can win a game.

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