MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — And it all comes to down to this: win or come home for the summer.
It’s a stunning predicament for the Minnesota Wild, who set plenty of franchise records — including most points in a regular season.
The Wild have a lot of reasons why they’re down 3-0 to the St. Louis Blues, but none of that matters Wednesday night in Game Four.
Here are four theories from WCCO’s Mike Max about how the Wild may pull off an elusive win.
Theory One: They worked at practice Tuesday, trying to create ugly goals. In other words, try and limit vision for Jake Allen.
“We’ve got to get to the net, we’ve got to get rebounds, we’ve got to get screens,” said Zach Parise. “Almost, we can sit here and say we’re unlucky, but I think we need to create a little bit. We put ourselves in the opportunity to get lucky.”
Theory Two: You have to get the first goal … or do you?
“It doesn’t matter,” Mikael Granlund said. “Even if they score first, we can still come back.”
Theory Three: You have to play looser, but how can you if you’re down 3-0?
“You got to earn it, and that’s where loose, whatever you want to call it, it’s about doing the things the right way, get that good feeling,” Mikko Koivu said.
The theory that has proven true is that this playoff series, like so many, has had little space — just the way Blues likes it.
“It’s tight, there’s not a lot of room. It’s a one-goal difference every night, and you want to see it bounce your way from being a lead to locking it down the other way,” Eric Staal said.
And the final theory: there are no ways to predict in the NHL because the difference in talent is razor thin.
“It’s exactly what the league has wanted, and that’s why for years now, I mean, the 16 teams that make it, anyone can make it, anyone can win the cup,” said Coach Bruce Boudreau.
As expected, Erik Haula is out with an undisclosed injury. Jordan Schroeder will not be taking his place; Nate Prosser is in again at defense and Ryan White remains in at wing as well.
If the Wild win, Game Five will be back at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Saturday night.