Chicago Blackhawks: Jason Pominville
May, 1, 2014
AP Photo/Ann HeisenfeltPatrick Sharp had five goals in the Blackhawks' five-game quarterfinal series victory over the Wild last season.Here's what you need to know about the Minnesota Wild, the Chicago Blackhawks' second-round playoff opponent:
The Wild and Blackhawks met five times in the regular season. The Wild won 5-3 in Chicago on Oct. 26, 4-3 in Minnesota on Dec. 5 and 2-1 in Minnesota on Jan. 23. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 5-1 in Minnesota on Oct. 28 and 3-2 in a shootout in Chicago on April 3.
The Wild advanced to the second round by knocking off the Colorado Avalanche, the Central Division's top seed, in seven games. The Wild went 3-0 at home and 1-3 on the road in the series. Four of the seven games went into overtime.
The Blackhawks eliminated the Wild from the Western Conference quarterfinals in five games last season. Two of the five games went into overtime. The Blackhawks outscored the Wild 13-3 in the three non-overtime games. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 132-of-139 shots for a .950 save percentage in the series. Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp had five goals in the five games.
Forward Zach Parise led the Wild with 10 points in this season's first-round series. He had three goals and seven assists in seven games against the Avalanche. He had 29 goals and 27 assists in 67 regular-season games. He had one goal and a minus-7 rating against the Blackhawks in the playoffs last season.
The Wild were 3-for-16 on the power play against the Blackhawks during the regular season. The Wild were 16th in the league with a 17.9 power-play percentage during the regular season. They're 3-for-21 in the playoffs.
The Wild were 11-for-14 on the penalty kill against the Blackhawks during the regular season. The Wild were 27th in the league with a 78.8 penalty-kill percentage during the regular season. They're 22-for-25 on the penalty kill in the playoffs.
Wild forward Matt Cooke has three more games to serve in his seven-game suspension for a knee-to-knee hit on the Avalanche's Tyson Barrie in Game 3 of their first-round series. Cooke had 10 goals, 18 assists and a plus-8 rating in 82 regular-season games this season. He had two goals and one assist against the Blackhawks this season.
Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper departed Game 7 against the Avalanche during the third period due to an injury. The extent of the injury was unknown after the game. He stopped 116-of-127 shots for a .913 save percentage in the series. He started the final four games of the series. Ilya Bryzgalov replaced Kuemper during the third period in Game 7. Bryzgalov started the first two games of the series and allowed eight goals on 45 shots in two losses. Five different goaltenders played for the Wild during the regular season.
The Wild finished the regular season with a 43-27-12 record and finished fourth in the Central Division. They went 6-3-1 in their final 10 regular-season games.
Jason Pominville had a team-high 60 points in the regular season. He had 30 goals and 30 assists. He had four goals and one assist against the Blackhawks during the regular season.
Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy had six points against the Wild during the regular season. He had one goal and five assists. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane had three goals and two assists, and forward Brandon Saad had two goals and two assists against the Wild this season.
The Wild averaged 33.3 shots for and 24.9 shots against during their series with the Avalanche. The Wild held the Avalanche to 12 shots on net in Game 4.
Defenseman Ryan Suter plays big minutes for the Wild, averaging a league-high 29:24 of ice time during the regular season. He's averaging 29:47 of ice time during the playoffs.
Wild forward Mikko Koivu has won 106-of-174 faceoffs for a 60.9 winning percentage in the playoffs.
The Wild averaged 27.7 hits a game against the Avalanche. The St. Louis Blues averaged 41.3 hits against a game against the Blackhawks.
Bryan Bickell and Leddy were two of the Blackhawks' top possession players against the Wild during the regular season. Bickell had a 70.7 Corsi percentage (the Blackhawks had 41 shots for and 17 against when he was on the ice in 5-on-5 situations. Leddy had a 64.2 Corsi percentage (77 shots for, 43 against).
The Wild's lines late against the Avalanche were Parise-Koivu-Charlie Coyle, Matt Moulson-Mikael Granlund-Pominville, Nino Niederreiter-Kyle Brodziak-Dany Heatley and Cody McCormick-Erik Haula-Stephane Veilleux. The defensive pairings were Suter-Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella-Jonas Brodin and Clayton Stoner-Nate Prosser.
April, 28, 2013
Here's what you need to know about the Chicago Blackhawks' first-round opponent, the Minnesota Wild:
- The Wild sputtered into the playoffs. They went 5-8-1 and were outscored 41-25 in April. They scored more than two goals just twice in the month, were shut out three times and allowed four or more goals five times. They fought off the Columbus Blue Jackets for the final playoff spot by winning two of their final three games. In between their two wins, the Wild lost 6-1 to the Edmonton Oilers.
- The Wild haven't appeared in the playoffs since the 2007-08 season. This will be their fourth playoff appearance in franchise history. They haven't advanced past the first round since the 2002-03 season.
- Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom has been as inconsistent as his team. He was pulled from three games in April. He's allowed three or more goals in seven of his last 14 games. But he also held the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche to one goal in two of his past three starts to help secure the playoff spot. He's been just as up-and-down against the Blackhawks this season. He replaced starting goaltender Josh Harding in the first period of the Wild's first meeting with the Blackhawks, and he stopped all 28 shots he faced in leading the Wild to a 3-2 shootout win. In their second game, Backstrom allowed four first-period goals and was pulled. In the final game of the series, he stopped 30 of 31 shots and the Wild lost, 1-0. He was 24-15-3 with a 2.48 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage on the season.
- The Wild are in the middle of the pack in most categories. They rank tied for 22nd in goals per game at 2.46, tied for 15th in goals-against per game at 2.60, 16th in power-play percentage at 17.9 and 18th in penalty-kill percentage at 80.7.
[+] EnlargeHannah Foslien/Getty ImagesJonathan Toews was second in the league in faceoffs won this season, a stat the Hawks need him to replicate in the playoffs.
- One of the Wild's greatest strengths is their faceoff ability. They ranked third in the league with a 52.4 faceoff percentage. The Blackhawks and Wild were nearly even in faceoffs in their three games this season. The Blackhawks won 92 faceoffs, and the Wild won 89. Both teams have two players ranked among the top 25 in faceoff leaders.
- The Wild's offseason acquisitions of forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter -- two players the Blackhawks went after -- paid off this season. Parise led the Wild with 18 goals and 38 points. Suter had a team-high 28 assists and was third on the team with 32 points. The two players weren't at their best in April, however, when they combined for four goals and eight assists, after combining for 10 goals and 22 assists in March.
- Two of the three games between the Blackhawks and Wild this season were decided by one goal. The Blackhawks won 1-0 in regulation and the Wild won 3-2 in a shootout. Both teams excelled in close games all season. The Blackhawks were 19-3-5 with a .704 winning percentage in one-goal games, and the Wild were 13-5-3 with a .619 winning percentage. The Blackhawks ranked second in the league, and the Wild were sixth.
- Rookies Charlie Coyle, a 21-year-old forward, and Jonas Brodin, a 19-year-old defenseman, have been key to the Wild's success this season. Coyle has 14 points on the season and had four goals and three assists in April. Brodin is in the running for the Calder Memorial Trophy. He has two goals, nine assists, a plus-three rating, 60 blocked shots and 18 takeaways on the season.
- Forward Jason Pominville, who was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline, helped the Wild in their playoff push. He had four goals and five assists in 10 games since being acquired. He is considered day-to-day after taking an elbow in the face recently.
- The Blackhawks and Wild made a trade in February 2010 that sent Kim Johnsson and the rights to Nick Leddy to the Blackhawks and defenseman Cam Barker to the Wild. Johnsson played eight games for the Blackhawks and was a free agent after the season. The 22-year-old Leddy has played in 176 games for the Blackhawks in the past three seasons. Barker finished the 2009-2010 season with the Wild and also played the 2010-2011 season with them before being bought out of his contract. He had 12 points in 71 games for the Wild.
October, 11, 2010
By Jesse Rogers