Blackhawks vs. Wild game 5 starts tonight at 9:30 Eastern / 8:30 Central Time. As we’ve said all along, don’t underestimate the Minnesota Wild, especially when they’re playing in their own barn. The defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks made it look all too easy skating to an early 2-0 lead in the Blackhawks vs. Wild series. Unfortunately for the defending champs, they can’t play all the games in Chicago – and the Wild are undefeated at home in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. Minnesota shut the Blackhawks out 4-0 in game 3 and skated to a 4-2 victory in game 4 to even the Wild vs. Blackhawks series 2-2.
Expect both teams to come out strong for game 5. Minnesota needs to win at least one on the road if they’re going to unseat the defending champs. The Blackhawks undoubtedly paid attention to the way the Wild clawed their way back into the Wild vs. Avalanche series and won on the road in game 7. They won’t be taking the Minnesota Wild lightly.
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had high praise for his opponents in the Wild vs. Blackhawks series:
“They’re probably as tight a team as we’re going to play all year.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who tallied his first playoff shutout after eight years in the league, was even more eloquent in describing his team’s performance in game 3 of the Blackhawks vs. Wild series:
“Today is a tremendous team effort. We play very, very, very nice hockey.”
Don’t expect the Blackhawks to lie down and die just because they’re on the road. The Blackhawks finished off a tough St. Louis team by winning at home and on the road and they’ll look to do the same in the Blackhawks vs. Wild series.
Expect the series to continue to be a matchup of the Wild’s stifling defense and Chicago’s hard hitting and explosive offensive firepower. The Wild have held the Blackhawks to an average of 21 shots per game. Look for the Hawks to do what they need to do to get the puck on the net more often as the Wild vs. Blackhawks series goes forward.
The Blackhawks are a deep, versatile team that can beat opponents any number of ways. According to an AP report, Coach Quenneville had this to say about his Blackhawks:
“The fact that you know you’ve got several options is what makes us a good team.”
Don’t miss any of tonight’s Blackhawks vs. Wild game. You can catch all of the Wild vs. Blackhawks game 4 streaming online live here.
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