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.
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.
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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.
To listen to Monday’s editon of THE MORNING TAKE with BLOIS OLSON click To hear MIKE MAX discuss THE WILD and BLACKHAWKS GAME 5, Click To listen to MANKATO ATTORNEY ALLEN ESKINS talk about PHILIP […]
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.
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.
History has a tendency to repeat itself. For the third playoff series in a row, the Minnesota Wild went into Game 3 at Xcel Energy Center looking for their first win, being down two games to none. And thanks to a pair of Finns, the Wild got that victory on home ice, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. Chicago now leads the series two games to one with Game 4 on Friday night.
The Minnesota Wild are at a point where they are counting on the home ice carrying them. “That’s the plan. We know in the first round we played pretty well here and we’re excited to play here. But, you know, that doesn’t guarantee much,” said forward Zach Parise.
The Minnesota Wild are looking to bounce-back after Friday night’s loss and win one on the road. They skated their way into the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and are now facing the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks. Game 2 is Sunday night in Chicago.
Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw is questionable for Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday because of a lower body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville said Saturday he doesn’t expect Shaw to be out for an extended period.
After a thrilling overtime win Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche, hockey fans have been rushing to get their hands on anything with a Wild logo on it. “This city is pumped. I mean this state’s pumped. We are ready to go,” said Corey Reding, one of many fans with an arm-full of merchandise Friday at The Hockey Lodge inside the Xcel Center.