It's the last time the Wild will play the Golden Knights this season. The final game of the first round playoff series is here. There is just nothing left to say about this series. You know what we're looking at.
Two teams playing each other for the 7th time in a row will never lack for stories. This series is no exception. Talbot and Fleury have gone back and forth. The Wild managed to figure out how to break up almost every single Las Vegas offensive zone pass in game 6, but have struggled to sustain that disruption in almost every other game. Goals have been called back on both sides in pivotal moments. It's been a ride, and as good as you could hope for a playoff series.
Winner gets to start round 2 on Sunday against the Avalanche who haven't played a game in a week.
Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 7 – Wild @ Vegas
Tonight the Wild get an elimination game at home. A win here forces game 7 back in Las Vegas on Friday. The home team hasn't fared well in this series so far, with Vegas getting the only home win in game 2.
The Wild didn't make it look super easy, but they got a win in game 5. At this point in the series, it no longer matters how well the team plays, it just matters if they win and keep the series going. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 6 – Las Vegas @ Minnesota
I am honestly not sure what to say about game 3. The first period looked so good. Wild players were in front of the net. Pucks were finding their sticks and actually getting past Fleury. Spirits were high!
And then the Wild turned in the worst two periods of the entire season series against the Golden Knights. Vegas got more goals than the Wild got shots over the last 40 minutes of game 3. It was an intensely frustrating game to watch. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 4 – Vegas @ Minnesota
The series is tied, and now moves to Minnesota for the next two games. The Wild have dominated in general as the home team, and have had three years of success against Las Vegas in Minnesota.
On the other hand, they will probably have to score more than one goal per game to win these two games. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 3 – Vegas @ Wild
Late night hockey for game 2 as the Wild look to take another game in Las Vegas.
Road teams that win games 1 and 2 in the NHL playoffs win 80% of the series (79 out of 99 historically). Road teams that win game 1 and lose game 2 win 43.5% of the series (70 out of 161 historically). Unsurprisingly, it would be good to win this game. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 2 – Wild @ Vegas
The most successful team in Wild history (by points percentage) now begins the playoffs on the road in Las Vegas, a team that could easily be the best in the NHL this season. A lot of the predictions and previews out there has focused on the Wild's success against Vegas in the regular season, where the Wild won 5 out of 8 and only lost once in regulation. That's not nothing, and it's always better to line up against a team that doesn't feel like the overwhelming favorite (see: Avalanche, Colorado), but it's also pretty clear that the Golden Knights are an elite team, one of the best in the NHL and there will be no easy wins for the Wild in this series.
I have to be honest, I don't know how I'm expecting this series to go. All the games against Las Vegas were super exciting and fun to watch, so if we get a series full of more games like that with playoff intensity on top of it? That will be something. It's been such a fun regular season, and the road through the playoffs is soooo tough, that it's impossible to say that getting knocked out would be an unexpected disappointment. But disappointment is still the word. Continue reading NHL PLAYOFFS: Game 1 – Wild @ Vegas
Wild in the playoffs, Wolves in pretty much a playoff game. Chat about it here!
The bad start cost the Wild in game 1. Hopefully, they can avoid falling that far behind in this one.
The Wild won 2 of 3 on the road in the first round, and to win this series they have to win at least one road game. Let's make it this one just for the heck of it.
The Wild still haven't won a playoff game in Chicago (0 for 7).
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)
It's pretty simple at this point. The Wild need to win one of the next two games to move on and face the Blackhawks (again).
The Wild have really only had 10 good minutes over the course of the last two games. Fortunately that was enough to steal game 5, so now they get to feed off the home crowd and hopefully replicate game 3.
- The Wild are 3-2 in game 6 historically (3-1 at home).
- This is the first time the Wild have played game 6 with a series lead.
- When they have won game 5, they are 2-0 in game 6 (both times in 2003).
- The Wild have never won a series in less than seven games.
2015 Playoff facts:
- In series where the two teams were separated by less than 10 points in the final standings, the lower seeded team is leading or tied in all 5 series (17-11 record)
- In series where the two teams were separated by 10 or more points in the final standings, the higher seed has an 11-3 record and leads in or has won all 3 series.
- The Wild and Blues were separated by 9 points in the final standings.