Nino Niederreiter of the Minnesota Wild scored an overtime goal in game seven against the Colorado Avalanche to set up a match-up between them and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Hawks, by virtue of their no.3 seed in the Central Division, will have home-ice advantage this round. In this Blackhawks-Wild series, it seems that the Blackhawks will have a major advantage in some major positions, with the goalie position being most apparent. However, both teams have a lot of talent, and both teams have the ability to explode for goals and that fact can even out a series no matter how lopsided it appears to be.
The Wild took seven games to win their first-round series against the Avalanche, but the Avalanche were a higher-seeded team than the St. Louis Blues, who the Blackhawks disposed of in six games. The Hawks haven’t played since last Sunday, meaning they could show some rust, especially in game one which will be Friday evening. If the Hawks can take the first two games at the United Center while still shaking off the rust, they might be well on their way to a dominant performance, and then will hope to use that momentum to get through whichever Pacific Division team gets through to the Conference Finals. If they’re unable to win these games, they could be in trouble against a team who proved that they have the clutch ability to beat teams that appear stronger. With contributions from lower-level players like Niederreiter, the Wild are dangerous, and shouldn’t be overlooked.
So let’s take a look and see which team has the edge in all vital positions.