In the words of Charlie Coyle, “we’ve been here before.” And it wasn’t that long ago.
Hours before the Kentucky Derby was set to start, the Wild was back on the ice at Chicago’s United Center for a swift practice the day after falling a furlong behind the Blackhawks in the Second Round race to four wins.
Last season, the Minnesota Wild’s postseason hopes were flashed fried in a quick five games by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion, Chicago Blackhawks. If revenge is a dish best served cold, the Wild looks to turn the United Center into a meat locker in Game 1 against the Blackhawks tonight.
There’s nothing quite like a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Two teams evenly matched through six grueling contests, leaving it all out on the ice for a winner-take-all elimination game.
Get your Minnesota Wild Game 7 celebration on, Saint Paul style.
It was a common phrase yesterday, and it was muttered time and again today — facing elimination in Game 6, the Wild has its back against the wall.
Tomorrow night, Minnesota will once again host Colorado in the Playoffs, but there’s an added twist: it’s the first elimination game of the series.
In tonight’s pivotal Game 5, the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche will leave it all on the table trying to take the lead in the best-of-seven First Round matchup. Each team has taken a pair of games on home ice, with the series spilt, 2-2, and back in the Mile High City tonight.
You only need to glance at their faces to know that Playoff season is over a week old.
Some players are sporting magnificent beards. Kyle Brodziak and Justin Fontaine look like they’ve soaked in all the vitamin manliness possible with full, thriving chin-whiskers. Others are trying their best. With wisps of faint hairs or scraggly patches here or there — it’s playoff beard season.
As Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo put it, it’s felt like a week since Game 3.
It’s only been two days, but it’s the first time this series the Wild has had a two-day break between games. Not only that, everyone has to patiently play the waiting game for tonight’s puck drop at 8:30 p.m.