Preview: Wild at Blackhawks

  

 

The Blackhawks’ surging confidence and 4 game winning streak gets put to another test tonight at the United Center, versus Central Division rival Minnesota. 

 

Minnesota Wild (17-12-3) at Chicago Blackhawks (16-11-5)

6PM Central

RADIO: WGN 720

TV: NBC Sports Chicago/Fox Sports North

 

PROJECTED GOALIES:

Minnesota:

Alex Stalock (5-4-1, 2.66 GAA, .915 SV%)

Chicago:

Corey Crawford (15-7-2, 2.15 GAA, .934 SV%)

 

PROJECTED LINES/PAIRINGS:

Minnesota

Niederreiter-Koivu-Granlund

Zucker-Staal-Coyle

Foligno-Coyle-Eriksson Ek

Ennis-Winnik-Stewart

Suter-Spurgeon

Brodin-Dumba

Reilly-Prosser

Chicago

Saad-Toews-DeBrincat

Schmaltz-Anisimov-Kane

Sharp-Hinostroza-Hartman

Bouma-Wingels-Hayden

Keith-Oesterle

Forsling-Murphy

Kempny-Seabrook

 

STATISTICAL COMPARISONS:

Power play:

Minnesota 20.7% (8th)

Chicago 14.8% (28th)

Penalty kill:

Minnesota 83.7% (4th)

Chicago 83.2% (7th)

Corsi For % (5-on-5)

Minnesota 46.4% (30th)

Chicago 52.1% (9th)

Faceoffs:

Minnesota 49.7% (18th)

Chicago 48.7% (23rd)

 

SUMMARY:

Testament to how strong and deep the Central Division is this year, the Hawks and Wild faceoff tonight at 5th and 6th respectively—both with 37 points. Chicago beat the Wild earlier in the season in St. Paul, and there’s more than the usual subtext to this Wild-Hawks game as a result.

In that game, Hawk forward John Hayden broke a bone in the face of Minnesota tough guy Marcus Foligno in a long and entertaining fight. As a result Foligno may be looking for a rematch, in order to regain his reputation as “not to be messed with.” Which in an otherwise evenly matched game, might be a tactical error as far as what’s on the scoreboard.

Regardless, Chicago skaters should probably keep their heads on a swivel a bit more than usual, and their emotions in check. Besides, the Hawks are trying to keep a 4-game win streak alive, coming off a fairly convincing win over Winnipeg on the road in their last outing. This is yet another game where playing well, much less taking two points, would do a lot for the Hawks’ confidence going forward. Even without star forward Zach Parise, Minnesota is still a dangerous opponent, especially strong on the blueline.

A key for Chicago tonight may simply be staying out of the penalty box. The Wild are pretty good on the power play, and fairly mediocre in 5-on-5 possession.

We’ll recap tonight or tomorrow AM.

 

Follow: @jaeckel

Center Ice Forums Preview: Wild at Blackhawks

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    John Jaeckel
    Keymaster

      The Blackhawks’ surging confidence and 4 game winning streak gets put to another test tonight at the United Center, versus Central Division riv
    [To continue reading full post by doublej click: Preview: Wild at Blackhawks]

    Apparently, all goalies are Vikings

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