If there is one thing that can make a playoff series more dramatic than it already is, it’s the presence of a villain. Whether it’s a player you detest, a guy who just rubs you the wrong way or a person you only tolerate because he’s plays for your team, knowing that if he played anywhere else you would despise them, a villain just makes things more intriguing.
The Minnesota Wild ended the 2014-15 season Saturday with a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Minnesota will have anywhere from four to seven chances to avenge that defeat over the next couple weeks as the Wild and the Blues face-off in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So which team has the edge? Let’s go to the tale of the tape.
We are entering the final week of the regular season in the NHL and the Minnesota Wild is looking to lock up another post-season berth. Right now Minnesota currently holds the first wild card spot in the Western Conference with 96 points. With four games left to play in the season, any combination of picking up two points (wins or overtime/shootout losses) should be enough to clinch a playoff berth.
If you have watched the Minnesota Wild over the last month and a half, you know they are the hottest team in the NHL. Minnesota is 17-3-1 since the All-Star break and are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games.
Since making a trade for Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota has gone 15-3-2 and played their way back into playoff contention. They currently hold the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.
In Game 6 of the series versus Colorado, the best players for the Minnesota Wild proved to be just that. Zach Parise had a four-point night (2G, 2A) including the game-winning goal. Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter added two assists as Minnesota defeated Colorado 5-2 to even the series at 3-3, forcing Game 7 in Denver.
The Minnesota Wild went into Game 5 Saturday night knowing that winning away from Xcel Energy Center would be a tough task, having dropped the previous two games of the series in Denver. The men wearing the striped shirts didn’t make it any easier for them.
Kyle Brodziak scored two goals and John Curry made 43 saves in his Wild debut to lead Minnesota over the struggling St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Thursday night.
The Minnesota Wild went into Tuesday night knowing they would only need one more point to clinch a playoff berth in the Western Conference. The task would not come easy as the Boston Bruins, the defending Eastern Conference champions, were in town. Fortunately for the Wild, their play-off berth was solidified before the start of the third period. The Phoenix Coyotes lost their game in overtime to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota Wild played their final home game against the Vancouver Canucks before starting a four game road trip. With games coming against St. Louis, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago it was important to get two points against a Vancouver team that had been imploding over the last couple months.
Going into the NHL trade deadline, the Minnesota Wild weren’t thought to be very active. Holding on to the first wild-card seed in the Western Conference, Minnesota should be a playoff team if they continue to play as they have since Jan. 1. If anything, the thought was the Wild would address the goal-tending situation and that would probably be it. Minnesota did that and then some. The Wild made two trades at the deadline, getting Ilya Bryzgalov from Edmonton and acquiring Matt Moulson and Cody McCormick from Buffalo.
Nino Niederreiter’s goal with 2:44 left in overtime lifted Minnesota to a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, the fifth straight home win for the Wild.
The 8th annual Hockey Day Minnesota took place on Saturday starting with a trio of high school games in Elk River, Minn. That was followed by a game at Mariucci Arena between Ohio State and Minnesota, with the nightcap taking place at Xcel Energy Center between the Minnesota Wild and the Dallas Stars.
Jason Pominville had a goal and an assist, Nate Prosser scored for the first time in 68 games, and the Minnesota Wild beat the new-look Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Thursday night.
Last week in Baltimore, the Minnesota Vikings were eliminated from playoff contention when the Ravens defeated them 29-26. The loss made official what most people had already suspected, that the Vikings would not be making a return trip to the post-season.
The Minnesota Wild spent Thanksgiving with two home games sandwiched around the holidays, playing Phoenix on Wednesday and Colorado on Friday. The end result being a 3-1 loss to both hockey clubs. That’s right, two games, two different teams, same result.
If you ask a Minnesota Vikings fan who their biggest rival is, the most common answer you will get are the Green Bay Packers. One team that will not be mentioned as a rival is the Vikings opponent this Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks.
The last month of football hasn’t been a good one for Christian Ponder. On Sept. 22, the Minnesota Vikings fell to 0-3 after a 31-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns. In that game Ponder was 25 of 42, passing for 228 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
One of the best things about sports is that each team has a rival or a villain who they just cannot stand to play against. Whether it’s somebody who managed to always find a way to beat you or someone who just rubs you the wrong way there is always one team you want to beat just because you want to stick it to that player.
Since 2005, the NFL has hosted an International Series by having a regular season game played outside of the United States. The first game in London was played in 2007 when the New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins 13-10.
By Craig Schroepfer This Sunday at Mall Of America Field, the Minnesota Vikings will host the Cleveland Browns in the final home opener at the stadium they have called home since the 1982 NFL season. […]