The Minnesota Wild
Can Win Because…
They fought back in Game 1. They were down 2-0 heading into the third period and considering they were fresh off a seven-game series, they could have rolled over and nobody would have complained. Instead, they clawed back, tying the game at 2-2. Now if they can play with that passion and energy from the get-go, they’ll have a much better chance of winning Game 2.
The Chicago Blackhawks Can Win Because…
They have the Wild’s number. They ousted them in the first round of the playoffs last year in five games and they’ll likely do the same. They easily won Game 1 and really, the Wild only came back when the Blackhawks took their foot off the gas. As soon as the Wild tied the game at 2-2, the Blackhawks turned it up a notch again and scored three unanswered goals.
The Blackhawks have a huge edge between the pipes as Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is a mess right now. He allowed four goals on just 21 shots in Game 1. What if the Blackhawks start shooting closer to 30, which is what they average in the playoffs? Bryzgalov has an .821 save percentage in the playoffs so far. The Wild aren’t going anywhere with him in net.
Outlook & Pick
The Wild have now played over in six of their last eight games. They can’t seem to keep their opponents from scoring – especially on the road. Their last five road games have a combined average score of 7.6 goals per game. Look for more of the same in Game 2 as the Blackhawks again triumph. Take the over with your NHL picks. It’s cashed in seven of the last eight matchups between the teams in Chicago.
Pick: Over 5.5 at TheGreek