Avoid the sweep – that’s what the Minnesota Wild had to be thinking when the Western Conference series switched from Chicago to Minnesota. The first two games of the series in the bag, an afternoon tilt was on the schedule for today.
With an emotional overtime win over one of the best teams in the league, the Minnesota Wild are now charged with carrying that momentum into Game Four.
After getting dominated in game two of the series – Minnesota had to show up big if they were going to overcome the hole that had been dug.
Today – they held on to ensure having to travel back into the lions den for at least one more game. Only problem is, home or away – the Chicago Blackhawks don’t lose all that often. In this seasons 48 game schedule, the worst lost only showed up twelve times. Six home losses, six away losses. Not really great odds to hedge your bets on beating the Chicago hockey club.
In playoff overtime hockey – anything can happen, and the Minnesota Wild proved that today – all it takes is one bounce, one good shift – and you can be heroic.
Seven of the Blackhawks regular season losses came in regulation – three at home, and four on the road. The playoffs however, are a different animal. Those five regular season losses in extra time -
1) Chicago had really not much to play for once their winning streak and points streak was snapped. They had pretty much wrapped things up early in the season. Sure the NHL couldn’t put the x mathematically next to their name in the standings – but the way Chicago played this year – nothing was standing in their way.
2) Chicago is a better hockey club. You get Minnesota in an extended time contest – the better team, the deeper team should prevail.
Minnesota proved today that anything could happen. Minnesota has to hope that they can keep the magic going; and hope that Chicago forgets how to win hockey games. Minnesota was the first team to beat the Chicago Blackhawks this season, taking a shootout contest in the seventh game.
Chicago has lost more than one game in a row this season, it actually occurred three times. The only problem for Minnesota – those losing streaks only reached two games.