Noon Number for 4-30-2013: 27

See! I knew we'd get some use out of Cody Almond! - Harry How

What earlier match-ups between the Wild and Blackhawks could tell us about this upcoming playoff series.

There have been three matchups so far this season against the Chicago Blackhawks. Over the duration of those three match-ups, the Wild have been outshot by a total of 68-95, a total of 27 shots. In those games, the Wild outshot the Blackhawks in only 3 of a possible ten periods- The first period of January 30th's game, and the third period of the other two games.

It's no surprise that the Blackhawks would outshoot the Wild, as Chicago was only behind San Jose in the West in terms of shots per game, and led the West in shot differential. They were the President's Trophy winners, after all.

But it should be said that shots aren't everything. The Wild went 15-10-1 in games where they outshot their opponent, meaning that while they generally had a better record when getting more shots, there are still other factors than simply throwing the most pucks on net. The Wild also won one of those games against Chicago- in which they were outshot by 7.

So what's the difference between the game they won and the games they lost? In the January 30th game, as noted earlier, the Wild outshot the Blackhawks in the first period, 15-7. Perhaps that might be the key- jumping out to a fast start, pounce pucks at the net early.

But then you see that they actually finished the period down 2-1. So, who the hell knows.

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