MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — 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.

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But what leaves you seeing red when you play the Blackhawks isn’t where you play them – it’s who they are. They have perhaps the most explosive forwards in the NHL, and the Wild’s defensemen are well aware.

They bring an almost on-demand offense, and their strategy is to not give them too much credit.

“I think first off we kind of short change our self and start to think we’re not a special group,” said defenseman Keith Ballard. “We’re a pretty good team, so I think there’s got to be a real strong focus on our game.”

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Watch Chicago, even at a pre-game skate, and they ooze with the confidence of a champion. It’s as if they know they’re destined for success, and mainly because the back it up with high-end talent.

“They’re skilled guys and really good players, but I mean we have to play tight on those guys. Don’t give them so much time and space to do stuff,” said defenseman Jonas Brodin.

The Wild understand that if they lose Tuesday night, it’s all but over.

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“I mean, they’re a good team. I think they played well, obviously not good enough,” said defenseman Ryan Suter. “We have to play that much better because they’re the Blackhawks. I think we have confidence in here.”

Mike Max