Wednesday always has a few games on the docket, but tonight the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild have the stage all to themselves. I guess the NHL felt that this game is important enough to have as a stand-alone game? Between Wild and Blackhawk fans, this one has turned into a nice little rivalry, though. Whatever happens here, though, who cares. Well, I care because I’m going to have an investment on the game, but the Wild could beat the Blackhawks tonight and does it really mean anything?
The Wild have beaten the Blackhawks before in the regular season before, but their ability to beat them in the playoffs when it really matters is questioned. The last time the Blackhawks beat the Wild was actually in the 2015 playoffs, a 4-0 sweep of the Wild. Every game since the Wild have taken. It accounts for a six-game winning streak, which again, is all during the regular season so this series feels like a blowout in favor of the Blackhaws.
Is anybody going to care if the Wild beat the Hawks for a seventh consecutive time? I’m sure it would put a smile on the face of some Wild fans, but then reality will set in and they realize that they need to do it when it counts in the playoffs now. The Wild and Blackhawks both look like they’re heading for the playoffs, so the idea of them matching up again could be likely. The Wild have had their best team in years, at least in the stats box, so maybe there would be more confident in them this year.
The Wild are 35-12-3 and the Hawks are 32-17-4, but who do you think the favorites would be in a playoff series? It’s an interesting question. However, with the Blackhawks history of success in the playoffs, and the failures the Wild have had, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the Blackhawks as favorites. Of course, all this talk is a little premature, the Wild could go into the dumpster and the Blackhawks are red hot going into the playoffs, which could of course impact prices.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild Pick
The Wild have struggled to find a competent offence for pretty well their existence. I will say, it’s been average, but never a team competing with the top offences in the NHL. You can forget about that this season, as the Wild have elevated to the top of the league offensively. Note that the Wild are 3rd in the NHL in scoring, averaging 3.35 goals per game, ahead of teams such as the Washington Capitals. In their last ten games, they’ve scored 3.70 goals per game.
The Blackhawks have been getting torched on defence lately, which has been uncharacteristic of them the years they won their Stanley Cups in this era. There was some controversy late in the season and early playoffs with Corey Crawford struggling they swapped between he and Scott Darling swapped positions for a few games. Crawford ultimately settled down and they went on to win the Stanley Cup. The last few weeks has been a little like that. The Hawks have allowed 3.40 goals per game in their last ten games. Conversely, the Wild have allowed 2.90 goals in their past ten. The OVER has gone 9-1 in the Wild last ten games and 5-0 in the last five games and 5-1 in the Blackhawks last six games. I look for this to be an entertaining game, with plenty of fireworks.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)