The Chicago Blackhawks are a decent hockey team. At least, that's what the standings say. I haven't checked in with the analysts to see if the Hawks are for real or if it is just that regression hasn't had time to kick in yet, so we'll just assume that having guys like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Marion Hossa, and the rest of the Western Conference all-star team makes you a decent hockey team.
Wild fans are certainly buying into this one. After the Golden Gopher basketball team upset Indiana, Minnesota sports fans seem to have lost their mind a little bit. Not to say the Wild don't have a chance to beat the Hawks, but just a reminder that upsets are rare, and not something to plan for. Unless, of course, you are filling out your brackets for March Madness, then always assume the upset.
This game is the start of a pretty brutal stretch for the Wild, as they go (in order): Hawks on the road, Predators on the road, Canucks at home, Ducks at home. All tough games, all of which add up to a solid look at what this team is made of, and if they have any business hanging around, or if they should just stay on the porch.
Tonight's game may be a foregone conclusion for most of the NHL world. For the Wild, it is a chance to finish something they started when they were the first team to beat the Hawks even if it did take a shootout. The team is playing well, and had a great tune-up game against the AHL team from Edmonton just a couple nights ago.
For the Wild to have a chance here, they are going to need perfection. As the old saying goes, "Perfection is expected. Greatness will be tolerated." Make a mistake, game over against a team like the Hawks. Massive offensive threat, one of the best defenses in the game, and goaltending that can steal a game all on their own.
Sometimes, life just isn't fair. Deal with it.
Game time is 7:30 PM, on FSN. See you then.