It wasn’t supposed to end this way. Going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, many people didn’t give the Minnesota Wild a chance to win it all. The Wild finished with 98 points on the season, clinching the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference and a date with the Central Division champion Colorado Avalanche.
Throughout an up-and-down season, the Minnesota Wild lagged behind the leaders of the Central Division. With an extended test against two of the top teams in the playoffs, though, the Wild clearly passed.
Patrick Kane scored on a backhand at 9:40 of overtime to lift the Chicago Blackhawks to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild in Game 6 to clinch their second-round Western Conference series on Tuesday night.
It’s been a stomach-churning couple weeks for the Minnesota Wild and their fans. The team was decided underdogs against the Colorado Avalanche, and much more so against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Tuesday night’s Wild playoff game at the Xcel Energy Center is sold out, and plenty of people bought their tickets at the last minute.
Higher-seeded teams with the lead in a best-of-seven series over the history of the NHL playoffs have had plenty of trouble putting the opponent away. Sometimes the brink of elimination has been what truly gets a team going. Consider the Chicago Blackhawks, though, when their foe is down. An ability to swoop down and delivering the finishing victory has become a clear trait of this team since coach Joel Quenneville took over and stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews arrived.
Former NHL head coach Barry Melrose has a saying that gets mentioned frequently each spring during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. “This time of year your best players have to be your best players,” Melrose said. That was the case in Chicago for Game 5 as the Blackhawks rallied from a 1-0 deficit, defeating Minnesota 2-1. Chicago now leads the series 3 games to 2.
Jonathan Toews had a rebound goal early in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Sunday night to take a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference semifinals. Bryan Bickell also scored and Corey Crawford made 27 saves as Chicago bounced back from consecutive losses in Minnesota that handed the momentum to the Wild heading into Game 5.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Bollig was suspended for two games Saturday by the NHL for boarding Minnesota defenseman Keith Ballard in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinal series. Bollig received a minor penalty for boarding in the second period of Chicago’s 4-2 road loss Friday night.
Two hours before Game 7 in Colorado, Nino Niederreiter sat alone in the stands. Just a man, his thoughts and his hockey sticks. It’s a routine he started a few years ago and does before every game; sitting in the seats, taping his sticks and getting focused.
The Wild left St. Paul, Minn. on Saturday with a very different feeling than when they arrived earlier in the week. “Obviously our guys are feeling pretty good right now,” coach Mike Yeo said.
Jason Pominville scored for Minnesota in the second period off the back of Chicago goalie Corey Crawford’s skate and the Wild beat the Blackhawks 4-2 on Friday night to even the Western Conference semifinal series at two games apiece.
in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Keith Ballard helped the Minnesota Wild limit the Chicago Blackhawks, which is a big part of the game plan. “I think with their personal … there’s more shots that become dangerous. They don’t always have to be odd-man rushes or back-door plays or stuff like that – they’ve got a lot of skill in their lineup,” Ballard said.
On Tuesday night’s Game 3 of the Wild-versus-Blackhawks series, the Wild reported attendance was a record 19,416. So, Ruth and Greg asked: How does the Wild determine game attendance? “We get a report at the end of the night that tells us how many tickets were sold and that’s the number, like every other sports team, we put out,” said Wild spokesman Ryan Stanzel.
The Minnesota Wild are bracing for more aggression from the Chicago Blackhawks. Minnesota won a slower Game 3 to cut Chicago’s lead in the series to 2-1. Game 4 is Friday, and the Blackhawks will be fired up to get their attack back on track.
Jamie Benn scored in the second period, Carey Price made 31 saves, and Canada beat the United States 1-0 Friday night in the semifinals of the Olympic men’s hockey tournament.
Icy stares, bone-crunching checks, even a skirmish or two in front of the net. USA faced off against Russia on Feb. 15, 2014.
From Randy Moss to David Ortiz, here are the athletes we all wish would have stuck around and had their success in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Jason Zucker scored at 2:15 of overtime to give Minnesota a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, pulling the Wild within 2-1 in the Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Any questions of whether Minnesota Wild fans would return after the NHL lockout have been crushed.
The New York Islanders hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Monday despite a lackluster final two periods.
The agent for former Minnesota Wild forward Pavol Demitra confirmed to the NHL that Demitra was among the people killed in a plane crash in Russia in September 2011. Here is a gallery of photos […]