Wild vs Blackhawks, Series Starts Friday
Hockey fans, are you pumped up or what? The Wild get their second round series underway tonight in Chicago against the Blackhawks. Minnesota is coming in off of an exhilarating game seven overtime win at Colorado on Wednesday night and will face a Chicago squad that comes in rested. The Blackhawks finished off the St. Louis Blues in six games in the opening round and haven’t played since Sunday.
Ilya Bryzgalov will be back in nets for the Wild as Darcy Kuemper is out with a head/neck injury forced him from Wednesday’s win. Wild fans know all too well that the Blackhawks are the defending NHL Champions, and that Chicago beat Minnesota 4-1 in the first round last year.
Minnesota got a total team effort to beat the Aves, but will need their stars to show up in this series. Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivu will have to be studs, but history isn’t really on their side. Parise had 10 points in the first round against Colorado, but only managed one goal in the last year’s playoff series against Chicago. The 29-year-old forward has four goals and two assists in 20 career games against the Blackhawks. Koivu also struggled against the Blackhawks in last season’s playoff series, finishing with a minus-6 rating for the five games and failing to score a goal. Star defensemen Ryan Suter also was held without a point in last year’s series.
Game one is tonight at 8:30pm.