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Wild Face Tough Challenge, Need Two Points Against Blackhawks

Game preview from Hockey Wilderness. Be sure to check out the game thread for the lineups, the daily five questions, and to join the conversation.

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.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.