For those of you all-around Minnesota sports fans i want you to think back in time. Take yourself back to early September, the fourth to be specific. While in a dogfight for the AL Central championship, the White Sox lost a game, in Chicago, to your Minnesota Twins by a score of 18-9. Those of you remember this game, may also remember the way the media, and even the Chicago fan base, were treating the White Sox pitching staff, which led them to finish 11-17 in September, losing the division to the Tigers.
Let's go a bit further forward in time to early-December.
The Vikings and Bears were playing a game at Mall of America Field. With only a few games left in the season, both teams knew this would be a determining factor in how the post season would play out. After being beaten at Soldier Field, 28-10, earlier in the year. The Vikings went on to win and in the process, knocked Bears QB Jay Cutler out of the game (Jay also threw two interceptions, one a pick six to Harrison Smith, which brought on a media firestorm for the QB), and started a collapse which, like their baseball brethren, would include them not making the postseason.
Now here come our Minnesota Wild.
Early in the year we took one in a shootout, which would be one of Chicago's few losses on the year. The Hawks took the second game in the season by blowout, and game 3 a 1-0 heart breaker. Having just scraped by the first game of the playoffs with a goal 3/4 of the way thru the overtime period, the Hawks responded with a hard fought victory over a team which was "prematurely" under the influence of the "must-win" attitude (it was only the second game!). Coming into game 3 down 2-0, playing on home ice Jason Zucker has put a dagger into the Chicago Blackhawks. They are devastated my friends.
The Vikings and Twins may have aided their Chicago rivals in failing to reach the postseason, but the Wild have a chance to eliminate theirs from the postseason. Only time will tell if Jason Zucker's prayer can start a collapse of the President's Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks. But being within one game, with game four at the X, I like our chances. If this series goes 2-2 back to Chicago, more hockey than expected may be in our futures.
Fight to the End.