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Minnesota Wild vs Chicago Blackhawks: Game 63

Minnesotawild_medium Blackhawks_logo_medium

Minnesota Wild (33-23-6) vs Chicago Blackhawks (33-23-6)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00PM CDT Television: Versus (HD)
Listen live on, or locally at 830 AM

For the Chicago perspective, check out Second City Hockey

Minnesota Wild
Chicago Blackhawks

Andrew Brunette - Matt Cullen - Antti Miettinen
Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Kyle Brodziak - Martin Havlat
Eric Nystrom - John Madden - Cal Clutterbuck
Brad Staubitz - Warren Peters - Chuck Kobasew

Clayton Stoner - Greg Zanon
Nick Schultz -Brent Burns
Jared Spurgeon - Marek Zidlicky

Niklas Backstrom
Jose Theodore

Patrick Sharp - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane
Marian Hossa - Dave Bolland - Michael Frolik
Troy Brouwer - Tomas Kopecky - Bryan Bickell
John Scott - Jeff Taffe - Viktor Stalberg

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Nick Leddy
Jordan Hendry - Brian Campbell

Corey Crawford
Marty Turco

After a trade deadline that left the NHL roster in tact, the Wild will now need to prove to their GM that he did the right thing. They, and he, believe this chemistry is enough to keep them in the playoffs. Now is their chance to prove it. Mikko Koivu and Guillaume Latendresse will be the Wild's deadline pick-ups for this season. They will get nothing for their pending UFAs. This is the squad, for better or worse.

Tonight, the Wild face a team with the exact same record. The Wild hold the tie breaker, making them the seventh place team. The standings haven't changed much, despite the Wild winning far more than they lose. Tonight is just another night in the playoff race, folks. Another big game, another big two points.

The Blackhawks cannot enjoy being in this position, after winning the Stanley Cup last year. They have a team built for this type of pressure, and it will be difficult to beat them tonight. The weapons are all still there, and Corey Crawford continues to shine.

For the Wild to win, they will need to continue playing out of their mind hockey. Solid defensively, magnificent in goal. Don't change anything, and just play the game they can play. There should be no doubt in any Wild fan about this team, even without a big deadline addition. This is a very good team, and one that should not be afraid of the Hawks.

Five Questions:

  1. Who steps up tonight?
    No change in the chemistry. How do the players reward their GM?
    The Wild have shown they can shut down the best. Do they again tonight?
  2. Does Backstrom get the support he needs to win?
  3. Do the guys on Versus even realize the Wild play in this game?