Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks Pick-Odds-Prediction - 5/2/14
Minnesota Wild (43-27-12) at Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15)
NHL Hockey: Friday, May 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm (United Center)
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -204 / Minnesota Wild +185 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Minnesota Wild open up second round play with a trip to the United Center to face the Chicago Blackhawks.
Minnesota took down Colorado on the road 5-4 in overtime to win their series in seven games. In my view this was the most exciting opening round series with plenty of dramatics and scoring. The Wild scored goals in bunches in this series with Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle leading the team with three tallies apiece but there was plenty of other options with 22 scored overall. That was the good news...the bad news was the Avalanche also scored in bunches which places the spotlight directly on the Minnesota goaltending situation. Darcy Kuemper is the better option but he left late in game seven with an injury which leaves the void to be filled by Ilya Bryzgalov. I think the outcome of each game with the Avs tells us the Wild generally had to win with their offense.
USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks advanced past St. Louis in six games in the opening round with an impressive four straight victories after the Blues went up 2-0 in the series. The Blackhawks dropped the first two games by identical 4-3 counts in overtime but were dominant at both ends of the ice in their victories where they outscored the Blues 14-6. Looking further in to that series Chicago's 20 goals was a bit awe inspiring considering they faced one of the best defensive squads in the game. Overall 12 different plays have lit the lamp with Jonathan Toews posting three game winners with Patrick Kane also finding the back of the net three times. Corey Crawford was solid in the nets over the final four games and was part of the reason the Blues were only 2-29 with the man advantage.
Minnesota has been clicking offensively but the Blackhawks have been too but their situation between the pipes has been more stable. I'm leaning to the Blackhawks in the opener but no goalie has been confirmed for the Wild and I need to see before backing either team so please check back...