Blackhawks - Wild preview - 05-02-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Blackhawks vs. Wild

Blackhawks Leading Regular Season Scorer: Jonathan Toews (right), 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists).

Wild Leading Posteason Scorer: Zach Parise, 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists).

Blackhawks Expected Starting Goaltender: Corey Crawford, 4-2, 1.98 GAA, .935 SV%.

Wild Expected Starting Goaltender: Ilya Bryzgalov, 1-2, 4.25 GAA, .826 SV%.

Blackhawks Posteason Statistics

Wild Postseason Statistics

Blackhawks Injuries: Center Jonathan Toews (illness) is probable. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin (shoulder) are on injured reserve.

Wild Injuries: Goaltender Darcy Kuemper ("upper body") is questionable. Defenseman Keith Ballard (groin) and goaltender Niklas Backstrom (abdominal) are out. Goaltender Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) and left winger Jason Zucker (knee/quadicreps) are on injured reserve.

Blackhawks with Stanley Cup bling: Bryan Bickell, LW; Brandon Bollig, LW; Sheldon Brookbank, D; Corey Crawford, G; Michal Handzus, C; Niklas Hjalmarsson, D; Marian Hossa RW; Patrick Kane, RW; Duncan Keith, D; Nikolai Khabibulin, G; Marcus Kruger, C; Nick Leddy, D; Johnny Oduya, D; Michal Rozsival D; Brandon Saad, LW; Brent Seabrook, D; Patrick Sharp, LW; Andrew Shaw, C; Ben Smith, RW; Jonathan Toews, C; Kris Versteeg, LW.

Wild with Stanley Cup bling: Ilya Bryzgalov, G; Matt Cooke, LW; Mike Rupp, LW.

Something worthwhile about the Blackhawks: The Blackhawks have the best power kill percentage in the postseason at 93.1 percent.

Something worthwhile about the Wild: The Wild had the best overall faceoff winning percentage in the first round at 53.6 percent.

Something useless about the Blackhawks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins general manager Tony Esposito is the Blackhawks' career leader in postseason goaltending wins with 45.

Something useless about the Wild that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins assistant coach Mike Yeo (2013 and 2014) is one of two Wild coaches to lead the franchise to playoff appearances in back-to-back seasons. The other is Jacques Lemaire (2007 and 2008).

Former Penguins on the Blackhawks: Dennis Bonvie, professional scout; Marian Hossa, RW; Norm Maciver, assistant general manager; Michal Rozsival, D.

Former Penguins on the Wild: Matt Cooke, LW; John Curry, G; Chuck Fletcher, general manager; Matt Moulson, LW (Moulson is a former Penguins draft pick who never played for the Penguins); Mike Rupp, LW; Darryl Sydor, assistant coach; Mike Yeo, head coach.

Who needs to be the difference for the Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, etc. With Minnesota not sure on the healthy of Kuemper and the inconsistency of Brygalov, Chicago's star forward need to exploit this weakness.

Who needs to be the difference for the Wild: Ryan Suter (right), Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, etc. The Wild's blue line needs to find a way to limit the Blackhawks' deep crew of talented forwards. With the Wild's goaltending situation in flux, the blue line needs to step up.

Best Blackhawks YouTube Video We Could Find: Blackhawks left winger Sergei Krivokrasov scoring an overtime goal in a 4-3 win against the Avalanche in Game 3 of a 1996 Western Conference semifinal series:

Best Wild YouTube Video We Could Find: Wild left winger Pascal Dupuis scoring the first goal out of an eventual 4-2 comeback win against the Canucks in Game 7 of a 2003 Western Conference semifinal series:

EN Prediction: With the goaltending situation a question mark, the Wild will get eaten up by the Blackhawks. Blackhawks 4-0.

(Photos: Jeff Gross/Getty Images and Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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