The thought going into this series was that the Minnesota Wild finally had enough depth on their roster to compete with, and beat, the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs. Instead it was the Blackhawks showing the Wild that they still have a long way to go.
The first period of Game 1 versus Chicago couldn’t have started worse for the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks had the Wild skating on its heels and the defense looked lost on the ice. It only took 1:15 before Brandon Saad scored to give Chicago a 1-0 lead.
For the second year in a row, the Minnesota Wild has eliminated the Central Division champion from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last year it was the Colorado Avalanche, this year it was the St. Louis Blues.
With the Minnesota Wild advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most common question being asked isn’t, “Is this the year we finally beat the Chicago Blackhawks?” It’s, “When does the series start?”
The St. Louis Blues came into Game 6 knowing they needed to play their best game of the series for their season to continue. And yet it was the Minnesota Wild who played like they had no interest in going back to the “Show-Me-State” for a seventh game.
Momentum is a funny thing in hockey. One minute you are dominating play, keeping all the action in the offensive zone. The next, a puck is deflecting off a goaltenders glove into the net and momentum starts to slowly go away.
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.
Everyone knows the Blues are a good team with a lot of depth and a lot of size. This is going to be a very physical series, but the Wild is a fast team and if they can use that quickness to get out of their zone and on the rush, they’ll be in perfect position.
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.
If you haven’t jumped on the Wild bandwagon yet, here’s your open invitation, and now’s the perfect time to hop on board.
Win and you’re in. Sounds easy enough right? But when it comes to the Minnesota Wild it seems nothing is easy. The Wild had a chance to clinch a playoff spot Monday night in front of a sell-out crowd at the Xcel Energy Center, but the team couldn’t score and ended up getting shut out 2-0 by the Winnipeg Jets.
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.
The Minnesota Wild return to Xcel Energy Center this weekend to kick off their final home stand of the season. While the next five games should give us an idea of where Minnesota will fit in the playoff picture, it’s the first two home games for the Wild that could have the biggest impact in the Western Conference playoff race.
“Doooobs!” That’s the cheer you’re hearing from Wild fans, including myself, as goalie Devan Dubnyk’s continues to play out of his mind!
With 10 games left to play in the NHL season, the Minnesota Wild is in position to earn a third consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If Minnesota does qualify for the postseason, there is a good chance the St. Louis Blues will be their opponent. And if Saturday was an indicator, the Wild will be ready for them.
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.
It is amazing to me how this Wild team just keeps finding ways to win, and the fan in me is loving every minute of it! We just keep climbing up those playoff ranks and just take a moment to let these next stats sink in a little bit.
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.
Alright Wild fans, are you back on the bandwagon yet? I, of course, never got off. But was last night’s win enough to get you back to believing in this team? It was enough for WCCO-TV reporter Rachel Slavik, who sent me the following text after last night’s game:
On Jan. 2, the Minnesota Wild defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 3-1. The hope at the time was that winning the first game in 2015 would be a springboard to another playoff berth much like last year, when Minnesota defeated Buffalo in their first game of 2014. Instead, the Wild have lost six-straight games and find themselves eight points out from the final playoff spot.
After watching Tuesday’s massacre in Pittsburgh, I actually have a lot of sympathy for the entire Minnesota Wild team. You can see they’re defeated, they hold their heads down and they’re beat well before they even step on the ice.
Okay I’m finally ready to admit it: The Wild need some help.
The month of December was not kind to the Minnesota Wild. During the month the Wild went 4-5-3 and found themselves ranked 11 out of 14 teams in the Western Conference, and seven points out of a playoff spot.
If I had to pick one word to describe the Wild’s play lately I’d pick “frustrating.” The Wild have lost their last four games at home. Three of those loses came in overtime.
I honestly believe the Wild had Tuesday night’s game won until a questionable hooking penalty on Erik Haula put Chicago on the power play in the last five minutes of a tie game. That shift in momentum was just what the Hawks needed.