Avalanche @ Wild preview, Game 4: What's Next?

Hannah Foslien

Matt Cooke is out, Nino Niederreiter is in. Granlund slides in with Parise and Pommer, what team will we see?

Forty-six shots. It took 46 shots to beat Colorado, plus an overtime. It was a franchise record for shots in the playoffs. Even though the Wild never lit the lamp in regulation, they never let up. Time-after-time and shift-after-shift the Wild kept full steam ahead. Not even for a second did the Wild play on their heels and ride their defense style. Granted Kuepmer stopped all of the shots against him, and in fact he has stopped every shot against Colorado this post-season. He became the first goaltender to record a shutout in his first postseason start since Anaheim's Jonas Hiller. Im not expecting the Wild to pound out 46 shots again, this team played great offensively and Colorado will obviously make adjustments tonight, but its imperative the Wild play this style here on out.

Matt Cooke is suspended for seven games if you haven't heard, which is a loss but opens the door for El Nino to play with Eric Haula and Justin Fontaine. This opens up for more offensive depth for the Wild, but that line will be responsible for shutting down the top-line of Colorado. Depending on how well they do, we most likely wont see the bizarre line of Heatley - Broadizak - McCormick. Dany didn't look half-bad and earned the right to be out there. Just don't know what to expect with those three.

With that, who has more to play for right now? Is it Colorado wanting revenge for losing Tyson Barrie and wants to go home with a three game lead? (obviously not) Or is its Minnesota with a dominating game three win, home-ice advantage, and have generally controlled the pace of two of the first three games? There was a sour taste in our mouths in a similar situation in last years playoffs.

Minnesota and Colorado have played in one-goal games in 11 of their 16 all-time playoff games, including 10 of the last 12 meetings Seven of those contests have gone to overtime. The Wild have killed 10 of 11 Colorado power plays through three games this series, only allowing an empty-net, power-play goal in Game 2. Minnesota has killed 15 straight Avalanche power-play attempts dating back eight regular-season games to March 14, 2013. Colorado ranked T-5th in the NHL this season with a 19.8% conversion rate on the power play. So take that Patrick Roy, and Go Wild!

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