The Minnesota Wild
Can Win Because…
Momentum is on their side. For two straight games, they’ve taken it to the Blackhawks, outscoring them 8-2 in the process. It’s a complete turnaround from Games 1 and 2 where the Wild were outscored 9-3. While the goaltending situation was a bit unsettled in the first two games, Ilya Bryzgalov has stepped up big time in Games 3 and 4 and held the Blackhawks to just two goals. He has a .949 save percentage over the last two games.
The Wild are controlling the puck in this series and aren’t giving up many shots on net. The Blackhawks are averaging just 20.8 shots per game. If they can keep that up in Game 5 and Bryzgalov can play well again, they could be a good choice for your NHL picks.
Blackhawks Can Win Because…
They’ll get back on track. The Wild are a good home team but they struggle on the road. This postseason, they are now 5-0 at home and have allowed just five goals in the process. That’s incredibly different than their away split. They are just 1-5 on the road and are giving up 4.3 goals per game.
The Blackhawks had trouble at the Xcel Center but they’ve had no struggles at home in this series. They scored nine goals in the opening two contests and made the Wild look like child’s play. They’re a perfect 5-0 at the United Center and have scored a total of 20 goals in those games. The Wild won’t be able to contain them as they did at home.
Outlook & Pick
The Blackhawks probably win Game 5 but we’ll stick with the play that’s been cashing in for us: over. The Blackhawks offense will get going once again while the Wild should chip in a couple to get us over the number. Game 5 will look similar to how Games 1 and 2 looked.
NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at TheGreek