Playoff Preview: Chicago Blackhawks vs Minnesota Wild Forwards Matchup

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Here’s how the forwards, of the Minnesota Wild performed, during the regular season.

Player
Goals
Assists
Points
Corsi For Percentage
Mikko Koivu11435456.1%
Zach Parise29275655.3%
Matt Moulson671352.9%
Nino Niederreiter14223650.3%
Charlie Coyle12183048.9%
Erik Haula691548.4%
Mikael Granlund8334148.3%
Justin Fontaine1382146.0%
Matt Cooke10182845.3%
Dany Heatly12162844.5%
Kyle Brodziak8162443.9%
Stephane Veilleux30340.5%
Cody McCormick11237.7%

Much of these numbers aren’t really anything to write home about, as the Wild were ranked 23rd, in the NHL, in Corsi For Percentage, during the regular season.

The Wild are more of a defense first, trapping style of team.  It’s often times boring to watch, but it got them to squeak into the playoffs, 2 years in a row.  Save for a few, the possession numbers aren’t pretty, but the Wild have some dangerous forwards that can do some damage, during the few times they posses the puck, in the offensive zone.

Mikko Koivu has provided the most chances, but isn’t quite the offensive dynamo that puts up monster numbers, in a season.  Nevertheless, he collected 43 helpers, on the season.

Zach Parise is the most talented forward, on Minnesota’s roster, but he really isn’t quite as dynamic as he gets credit for.  This is not a knock, on Parise, he is a great player.  Parise is the most dangerous player, on the Wild, and has a knack for clutch goals.

The acquisition of Matt Moulson gives Minnesota a huge upgrade, offensively.  He played 20 games, for the Wild, this season, in which he put up 13 points and an above 50% Corsi share.  His addition may have been what helped boost the Wild, into the playoffs.  He will be one to watch, in this series.

Let’s take a look at how the Minnesota forwards fared, in the 1st round, against the Avalanche.

Player
Goals
Assists
Points
Corsi For Percentage
Mikko Koivu15666.7%
Charlie Coyle32562.1%
Jason Pominville14562.0%
Matt Moulson11261.7%
Zach Parise371060.9%
Dany Heatly14559.3%
Erik Haula11257.0%
Matt Cooke01156.7%
Mikael Granlund23556.6%
Justin Fontaine00055.7%
Nino Niederreiter22454.1%
Cody McCormick00051.9%
Kyle Bordziak23549.6%
Stephane Veilleux00046.7%

Wow!

I guess math and logic finally caught up to Colorado, albeit was much later than expected.

The Wild absolutely dominated puck possession, against Colorado, en route to an upset advancement, to the 2nd round.

Dany Heatly finally found a way to contribute, as he had an excellent series, with 5 points, and nearly a 60% Corsi share.

Jason Pominville might be one of the more underrated players, in the league.  He drove possession, even though most of his starts were in the offensive zone.  He can be very hard to play against, and he can contribute offense as well.

What a series, for Zach Parise.  Clutch goals, and lots of points.

Matt Moulson only added 2 points, in the 1st round, but still had a Corsi, of over 60%.  He will be one to watch.

All of these numbers WILL be much lower, against the Hawks.  The Avalanche were not a very good puck-possession team, and much of their success was attributed to excellent goaltending, from Semyon Varlamov and luck.  Somehow, the Avs were able to make 7 games, out of the series, against the Wild.  By just looking at those stats, from Minnesota’s forwards, you’d think it was a 4-game sweep, for the Wild.

The Hawks are very much a puck-possession, high-octane offense kind of team.  The Corsi shares will likely be in the Hawks’ favor, in this series.  If not, then the Wild have turned into a monster, and will likely win the series.

At the end of the day, the Hawks have more fire-power and a more balanced staff of forwards, than the Wild.  Minnesota is much improved, though, and this series will likely be more challenging than it was last year.

If math and statistics are proving themselves right, as they did in the Wild/Avs series, then the Hawks have the advantage, when it comes to forwards, in this series.

 

 

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