Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/02/14 at 01:33 PM ET
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.
FYI, Ilya Bryzgalov will be the starter for the Wild tonight...
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