Another series that everyone is picking as too close to call.
I'm not sure I can take the Wild being eliminated by the same team three playoff seasons in a row (even the Twins never lost to the Yankees three years in a row). So I think I'll cheer for the Wild in this round as well.
- The Wild have lost all six playoff games they've ever played in Chicago.
- The Wild have never won a game 1 in the second round (0 for 2).
The big question is whether Crawford in goal for the Blackhawks can give them a chance. If he keeps games close, most people seem to think the "veterans who just know how to win" on the Hawks will prevail over the Wild.
The Wild didn't have to win any games that were too close in round 1 (no overtime, only one lead change all series). It will be interesting to see if they can continue to lock down and extend leads in the same way. (also: scoring first is always good - something they struggled with against Chicago the last two years)
Game 3 was great, but apparently St. Louis isn't going to just give up.
The Wild have never had a two game lead in a playoff series. They are 0-3 when given the opportunity (all 3 games on the road).
I thought the Wild played well in both games in St. Louis, minus a few hiccups that didn't hurt them in game 1, but did in game 2. The series is shaping up to be the close battle that everyone predicted it to be.
So now the series is in Minnesota and it's on the Wild to hold onto home-ice advantage. Generally the Wild have been good at home under Mike Yeo in the playoffs (6-2 record in the last two playoff years), but the home record hasn't been exactly spectacular as the season finished.
The historical pessimism corner:
- The Wild have never finished a home game with a series lead in franchise history.
- The Wild are 9-15 in games following a playoff loss in their history.
- The Wild are 10-17 in playoff games played in arenas where I have attended a hockey game.
Historical pessimism worked so well last time, so here's a few more nuggets.
- The Minnesota Wild have only ever held a lead in a playoff series twice.
- Once in 2003 when they won game 1 to lead 1-0 against the Avalanche. They lost the next three games.
- Once in 2008 when they won game 3 to lead 2-1 against the Avalanche. They lost the next three games.
- The Minnesota Wild have never played a home playoff game where they entered the game with a series lead. (In actuality, they've never finished a home playoff game with a series lead, but that's a nugget for later in the series, I think)
Game 1 was a good game for the Wild, they just need to do that again.