Wild Night Ahead? Minnesota Vs Chicago Preview

By Keith Schultz

Jan 30, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; A zamboni cleans the ice at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Game #23– Minnesota Wild (11-8-2) vs Chicago Blackhawks (19-0-3)

Game Time-7:30pm Central Time

TV– CSN-Chicago

Radio– WGN

Season Series– Minnesota leads 1-0 with a 3-2 shoot out victory on January 30th in Minnesota

Preview– It is safe to say that the Wild like home cooking! They are 8-2-1 on home ice but 3-6-1 on the road. Although Mikko Koivu leads the team in points, it’s been the production from their two big free agent signings in Zach Parise (8goals 7assists) and Ryan Suter (0 goals 14 assists) that have helped guide the Wild to 2nd place in the Northwest divison only two points behind division leading Vancouver.  The Wild are coming off a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Sunday night.  The Wild’s goalie Niklas Backstrom has been solid having only giving up 2 or few goals per game in four out of his last five. Backstrom is only one of three goalies to have face the Blackhawks this season and been able to leave the building with a W.

The Blackhawks are riding high extending the point streak to start the season to 22 and the overall streak to 2nd all-time to 28 after Patrick Kane‘s late game heroics.  If you are looking for a ominous stat its the fact that the Hawks have trailed in 5 out of their last 7 contests.  The good part of the stat is the a championship contending team found a way to respond to the deficit and found a way to win.  The Hawks for the first time all season dressed 7 defenseman against the Red Wings sunday and it seemed to backfire in the 2nd half of the game when Detroit started maintaining puck possession after the Hawks owned the puck during the first half of the game.  Dave Bolland is rumored to be back in the lineup today and if so the Hawks should be back to their normal 6 defenseman.  The Hawks are finding different ways to win nightly so you never know what to expect when watching them except that when the final horn sounds the guys with the Blackhawks jerseys on will have more goals than their opponents.

Prediction- The Wild are a bad road team but will be ready to put their names in the history books. The streak ends with a Wild upset 3-2. The Flyers all-time point streak was ended by a Minnesota franchise and history has a weird way of repeating itself.  I hope I’m WRONG  though!!

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Let’s Go Blackhawks!!!