Motherland: Wild @ Hawks Preview
After what seems like ages (and also no time at all) the Hawks start their 2nd Round tonight, at home this time, thanks to the Wild knocking out the Avs. I’ve still not really got an opinion on which matchup I’d have preferred, but let’s have a look at the hand we’ve been dealt.
This is not the Wild that were happy just to make up the numbers last year. They’re still not the most offensively gifted side out there, but what they are is well-disciplined and hard to break down. Add to this some extremely talented and dangerous players like Zach Parise & Mikael Granlund as well as some effective, if less gaudy, guys in Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederraiter and Mikko Koivu and you have a team that is not to be underestimated. They also have one of the league’s premier pairings on the blue line in Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin, plus the underrated Jared Spurgeon and Marco Scandella. I’m hearing lots of talk of “Sweeps”.. I don’t see it myself. I think the Hawks have too much for Minnesota (provided they bring their A-game) and the doubt over the Wild’s goaltending (as of this writing Ilya Bryzgalov is in for the injured Darcy Kuemper) may be a tipping point, as the Hawks are going to provide a lot more sustained offense than the wretched Avs.
Anyway, games between these two have been intense and frequently chippy over the last couple of years. All will be revealed later. In the meantime, I asked Hockey Wilderness writer and youngest sibling Ger Devine some questions about the series & the Wild.
What weaknesses can you see on the Hawks that the Wild can exploit?
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