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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Rangers Will Depend On Lundqvist And The Surprising Wild

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

- One of the best in the league at any time, King Henrik is now 8-2 in his past 10 post-season games that the Rangers have faced potential elimination. Even better, after New York's 5-1 win at Pittsburgh on Friday, Lundqvist has a .953 save percentage and 1.38 goals against average in that 10-game stretch.

It may mean little if the Rangers forwards regress to the poor play they displayed earlier in the series, but given the suspect play of Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5, the tone in this matchup may be starting to shift....

- Has the Minnesota Wild figured out the key to shutting down the Stanley Cup champions?

In a series that is turning out to be more interesting than many figured, the Wild are all square with the Hawks after four games and have been doing it by stifling the Chicago attack....

more on the Rangers and Wild plus a few more hockey topics...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Brandon Bolling Has A Hearing Today With The NHL Player Safety Department

Watch the hit below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brandon+bollig

Video- Wild Win, Time To Focus On The Next Game

Coach Mike Yeo with his post-gme comments to the team....

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The “Trapping” Wild

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

The Wild has been branded a trapping team since the days of Jacques Lemaire, so any time a game borders on the boring side, critics usually assign fault to the Wild.

The neutral zone in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals was so congested, Wild and Chicago Blackhawks players looked as if they were skating through a labyrinth.

In the days since, the national media and hockey fans across the globe have analyzed the game like, “Same old Wild.” That has rubbed some inside the Wild the wrong way, especially because early in Tuesday’s game, it was clear the Blackhawks, perhaps after seeing the storm the Colorado Avalanche had to weather in Games 3 and 4 last round, tried to silence the Wild’s record crowd of 19,416 by sitting back in an attempt to limit the Wild’s ability to get through center ice and get on overpowering forechecks.

Slowly but surely the game turned into a hard-to-watch, neutral-zone chess match. Neither team could get through cleanly.

“Of course we’re going to be blamed for that. I mean, it’s the high-flying Hawks,” Zach Parise said, sarcastically.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Matt Cooke Ready For His Return

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

Matt Cooke returns to the Minnesota Wild lineup for Friday’s Game 4 coming off his seventh suspension, the seven games he sat out for kneeing Colorado’s Tyson Barrie upping his career total to 32.

But Cooke continued to insist he’s a changed man, and that the Barrie play was the exception, not the rule.

“Although this one situation happened, I still believe and know that I’m in a good spot as far as the way I approach the game, to go out and play a physical style without being [risky],” Cooke said on Wednesday. “Obviously, there’s the one situation that’s going to be in my head that it happened, but I’m a firm believer in the work that I’ve put in to change the style, to change my approach to the game, to allow me to go out and have success.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Minnesota Wild Want To Put More Pressure On Corey Crawford

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford has won a Stanley Cup and has a career playoff goals-against average of 2.01, yet he always seems to be picked apart by the critics.

The Wild has the fullest respect for him. After all, in seven playoff games over two years, Crawford has allowed 10 goals to Minnesota. After scoring three goals in the first two games of this series, the Wild wants to make life more difficult on him.

“We have to put more pressure on him,” coach Mike Yeo said. “He’s playing very well. I look at our net-front traffic on him; I don’t think it’s been enough through the two games.”

His job was made much easier in Game 2 Sunday as the Blackhawks allowed their fewest shots on goal in a single period all season (two). It balanced out in the second when the Wild fired 13 shots, with Crawford brushing off each one. In Game 1 Friday, he stopped all 17 second-period shots he faced.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Wild Are Down 0-2 Again

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

The Wild trailed 2-0 against Colorado last round, too. This 2-0 series to the Chicago Blackhawks has a different feel though.

Against the Avs, the Wild had the puck 65 percent of the time. Against the Avs, the Wild forced turnovers galore and often put together sustained pressure and suffocating forechecks. Against the Avs, the Wild scored 22 goals (3.1 a game) and 14 in four games in Denver (3.5 a game).

In Friday’s Game 1, 5-2, loss to Chicago, the Wild missed the net 18 times and maddeningly couldn’t score timely goals when it was controlling play. In Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Chicago, the Wild had 25 shots blocked … and maddeningly couldn’t score timely goals when it was controlling play....

Like I said, this series has a different feel. First of all, the Wild’s playing against the defending champs, a team experienced in the playoffs, not the newbie Avs. Second of all, the Wild’s playing against likely Norris winner Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson, four solid, experienced, mobile defensemen, not the newbie Avs who could be exposed easily.

The Wild seemed flat in several areas, and coach Mike Yeo concurred afterward, saying the seven-game series caught up to Minnesota in Sunday’s afternoon game. That’s why I felt Game 1 was integral to win. Against the more rested team when you’re the team coming off a long, draining, emotional series, it usually catches up to the tired team later in the next round.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Chicago Blackhawks Must Maintain Their Level Of Play

from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times,

The Minnesota Wild brought their ‘‘A’’ game to the United Center on Friday and still lost 5-2 to the Blackhawks.

Thanks for coming, Wild men. Don’t forget to pick up your lovely parting gifts.

I say that for purely selfish reasons. The Wild want to muck it up, to slow the game down, to bring the Hawks down to their level and to make onlookers want to take up solitaire for excitement’s sake.

In the name of hockey aesthetics, this must be stopped.

If the Wild win the series, boring wins. Graduation speeches win. Mime performances win. Do you understand the gravity of the situation?

The only team that can stop the Hawks from winning three more games in this series is theirs. The challenge will be avoiding the very real hazard of playing their opponent’s game.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Showtime In Chicago

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

He danced through the Minnesota defense as they picked their poison between him and Patrick Sharp, dusting Ryan Suter and splitting Jonas Brodin and Kyle Brodziak — the Wild’s top two defensemen and one of their top shutdown forwards — before roofing a backhander over Ilya Bryzgalov to break a tie and unleash a deafening roar at the United Center.

As Kane raced to his teammates to celebrate, he twice appeared to yell, “Showtime!” — fitting, given the highlight-reel nature of the goal and his usual penchant for the dramatic.

“Did it look like I said that?” Kane said with a smile. “Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m saying. I was pretty pumped up after that one. You kind of get in your own little world. I don’t know. I don’t even know what I said, to be honest with you.”

read on for more on the game and watch the Kane goal below...

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Wild Know Who They Up Against

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

After a riveting seven-game, emotional roller coaster of an opening round, the Wild must move on. The Wild spent Thursday trying to refocus its minds and reset for the next arduous challenge ahead.

Friday night at United Center, the Wild turns the page on the Central Division-champion Avalanche and opens the Western Conference semifinals against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks — a playoff-tested juggernaut that dispatched the Wild in five games last spring.

The Blackhawks are playing their best hockey of the season. They are rested, too, while the Wild is coming off that grueling physical and mental battle that ended only two days ago. It also enters the series with yet another messed-up goalie situation with Ilya Bryzgalov set to start and Darcy Kuemper once again injured.

For the first time in two weeks, the Wild spent Thursday prepping for a team other than Colorado. The teams play different styles and systems, especially in the defensive zone, where the Avs are one of a handful that play man-to-man defense.

read on

FYI, Ilya Bryzgalov will be the starter for the Wild tonight...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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