Feb 3, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) makes a save on Chicago Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell (29) during the third period at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
#2: More Playoff Experience
It seems that the Blackhawks are always picked to go deep in the playoffs in recent years, and after their 2010 Stanley Cup Playoff run, their playoff experience is always a big factor in why people pick them to go deep.
It’s no different this year, with only a handful of current Blackhawks without a Stanley Cup ring from the 2010 or 2013 seasons. However, the Blackhawks experience of winning, especially against the Wild, gives them an advantage their opponents simply don’t possess.
The Wild have only a trio of players that have experience making it past the second round: Tomas Vanek and Jason Pominville made it to the Eastern Conference Final with the Buffalo Sabres, and Zach Parise led the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012.
Aside from that, the Wild lack winning playoff experience at key positions, including goaltending, and defense. Devan Dubnyk showed no chinks in his armor through the first round, but many are still waiting on the standout goaltender to crack under the pressure of the Playoffs. Against the Blackhawks, it will only take one or two mental mistakes to put the Wild in a hole too big to crawl out of (see: Jake Allen).