Happy Mothers day from all of us at Hockey Wilderness. Not only is it a big day for the mom's, but there's a pretty big hockey game on tonight. Minnesota is set to play in its 100th game this season, including six preseason contests. The Wild have held Chicago to 22 or fewer shots in each game this series. Since 2003, the Blackhawks have played in 85 playoff games, and have been held to 22 or fewer shots in eight contests – including four this series. The Wild have allowed 23.4 shots against/game this postseason – the lowest average in the NHL.
Chicago looked mostly flustered on the ice in Game 4, maybe because they were afraid of Matt Cooke. Cooke tallied the lone assist on Justin Fontaine’s opening goal, had a game-high five hits, with plus-1 rating, and two blocked shots. This was after Cooke sat out the last seven playoff contests because of a suspension. He leads the Wild in playoff experience, having played in 101 games during 11 postseasons.
Minnesota has loved the home-ice advantage having outscored the Hawks 16-5 at the X. However, they'll have to stop the pucks as Minnesota has allowed 26 goals this playoffs away from the X. Nate Prosser will slide in for Keith Ballard tonight, who suffered an injury in game 4, despite playing probably his best hockey in a Wild sweater in games 3, 4. Matt Moulson is still out with an injury and did not make the trip to Chicago. The Wild are just ten wins away from a Stanley Cup which sounds really cool on paper, but tonight the Wild must carry the momentum in Chicago and steal another one back. Finally, if anyone has any problems with Ilya Bryzgalov, then you have a problem with Nino Niederreiter. As he really, really likes Bryz.