Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks - 12/5/13
Chicago Blackhawks (20-5-4) at Minnesota Wild (16-8-5)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Xcel Energy Center)
The Line: Minnesota Wild +124 / Chicago Blackhawks -136 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Blackhawks and Wild highlight a stacked card of NHL Hockey on Thursday as there are a handful of spectacular matchups and this one falls into that category.
Chicago heads to the road looking to avenge a home loss at the hands of the Dallas Stars who came into the United Center and put up four goals on Corey Crawford and now they head into Minnesota to take on the Wild. Chicago is unquestionably one of the best teams in the league and have more than a shot at repeating as Stanley Cup champs but it is a long season and these games take their toll on even the best teams so seeing Chicago lose here and there shouldn’t alarm the Blackhawks faithful. They head into Minnesota to take on a Wild team who has been sensational at home this season and trail the Hawks by seven points in the Central division standings and they know they’ll need a full team effort here if they want to leave Minny with two points. Corey Crawford will likely get the start against Josh Harding who has been remarkable between the pipes this season for the Wild as he is right in the mix in all of the top goaltending categories.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
The Wild have a spectacular mark at the Xcel Energy Center as they’re 11-3-2 at home however the Blackhawks are a shade better than that on the road which is even more impressive as they’re 11-3-1 away from the United Center. Minnesota is well aware the task that stands in front of them but they certainly have the roster to keep the Blackhawks in check as they build from the crease out and do a good job isolating their opponent’s best players with their top defensive pairing. We can expect to see a lot of Ryan Suter in this contest as we normally do in Minnesota games as he is hands down the team’s best defenseman and always ranks near the top in the league in ice time and against an offensively charged Chicago team his role will be vital once again. This will be a great game to watch and while it is a rarity I think the Blackhawks drop their second straight contest as the circumstances here are much stiffer than against the Stars and while you have to look at each game individually I think this is a good spot for Minnesota as a home dog.