Blackhawks Can Win Because…
They’ve done whatever they’ve wanted in this series. Through two games, they have nine goals scored, and have thoroughly dominated both contests. What’s scary is that they have yet to play their best game. They’ve only totaled 42 shots on net through two games, which is quite low for them considering they were averaging about 30 per game in the playoffs. That puts Ilya Bryzgalov’s save percentage at a paltry .833. The Wild have no answers defensively, and they’re having a really tough time getting their own offense going. Zach Parise had 10 points in the opening round but the Blackhawks have held him to just one so far in two games. This is a complete mismatch of a series, and nothing will change in Game 3.
The Minnesota Wild
Can Win Because…
This will be their best punch. The Wild know they’re facing dire straits if they can’t win Game 3, so look for this to be their best effort. They faced the same type of hole in Round 1 and still managed to battle back, so it’s not as if they haven’t been here before.
Home-ice advantage will be important to them. They are 3-0 at home this postseason while allowing just three goals compared to a 1-5 record on the road where they allow an average of 4.3 per game. They’re worth a look here with your NHL picks.
Outlook & Pick
The Wild will give it all they’ve got but it probably won’t be enough. Bryzgalov’s goaltending has been backbreaking as he’s been horrendous in this series. The Blackhawks are barely shooting the puck on net and have still scored nine goals.
With a cheaper price tag on the Blackhawks here, I’m inclined to take a shot with them. The Wild simply don’t have any answers right now.
Free NHL Pick: Blackhawks at TheGreek