We turn our attention to Sunday afternoon, where there is a host of plentiful action to feast on in the NHL. Note that our NHL pick on Sunday takes place early Sunday, so be sure to get your selection in before it’s too late. If you’ve taken a look at the schedule, you are probably well aware where we are going with this pick. The United Center in Chicago is going to be the site of our Sunday pick, as the Blackhawks invite their rivals, the Minnesota Wild to town. A quiet, yet new-age rivalry has been brewing up between these teams the last couple of years.
It all started in the postseason where the Blackhawks have had their number considerably. However, a quick look at the regular season would paint a different picture. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if the Wild want to impress anybody they’re going to have to beat the Blackhawks when it matters most in the playoffs. Are things changing, though? Minnesota beat the Hawks in six straight games, but Chicago responded with two wins in February.
The Wild and Blackhawks look like they’re on a collision course for one another in the playoffs again. The Wild, at 43-17-4, are playing the best hockey since their inception as the Minnesota Wild. Are these regular season results going to translate in the playoffs? I liken this Wild team to the Colorado Avalanche who flew to the top of the standings a few years ago in Patrick Roy’s head coaching debut in the NHL.
Are the Wild going to fly off the cliff like the Avs have? No, I think this is going to be a competitive team for years to come. However, like the Avs that year, I could see the Wild slipping up in the 2nd round of the playoffs. The NHL Playoffs are almost here, so we won’t have to wait too much longer. Head below to get our Wild vs. Blackhawks pick for Sunday afternoon.
Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks Pick
The Blackhawks are going to be threats every time they have their hand in the playoffs. With a record of 42-20-4 they’re well on their way to securing a high seed in the postseason. The Blackhawks currently trail the Wild by 3 points for the number 1 seed, so the stakes are fairly high in this matchup. The Blackhawks were the hottest team in the NHL, with seven straight wins and 12-1-0 in their last thirteen. However, Chicago are entering with a couple of losses straight.
The Blackhawks didn’t look interested in playing the Ducks or Red Wings, which for them, are very winnable games. Overall, the Blackhawks have been playing balanced hockey. They are averaging 2.94 goals per game, while allowing 2.51 goals a game. Their last ten games have been quite impressive, though, averaging 3.30 goals per game and allowing 2.20 a game. This will be the third game in a row on the road for the Wild.
The offence exploded against the Panthers for 7 goals last time on the ice. They scored just 1.25 goals in the previous three games, so it was certainly good for the average. This should be a thoroughly entertaining game from start to finish. On this Sunday, I am feeling the Blackhawks coming out on top. They shake the last two games, and put forth a strong effort. Our Sunday NHL pick is the Chicago Blackhawks.
PICK: BLACKHAWKS TO WIN -130