2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Prediction Round 2

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Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks

The Red-Hot Minnesota Wild (WC-1) and the Chicago Blackhawks (C-3) face-off once again in a rematch from last year’s Western Conference Semifinals. This is the 3rd match-up between the Central Division foes in the last 3 years. In 2014, we saw the Chicago Blackhawks eliminate the Wild in a tough 6 game series, with Patrick Kane netting the winner in OT.

The Wild are coming off of an impressive 6 game victory over the Blues, who once again failed to meet expectations. The postseason has not slowed down Devan Dubnyk and company, who are hoping that the 3rd times the charm. On the other end of the spectrum, the Hawks won a 6 game series of their own over the pesky Predators. It wasn’t easy as Chicago won games in triple and double overtime.

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The season series went to the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. The Hawks took the first 3 games, followed by Minnesota taking the final 2. On paper, this appears as a very lopsided series. Chicago surely has more firepower  up front and on the blue line, and both goaltenders boast very good stats. The real question is what have you done for me lately?

Corey Crawford was benched for Scott Darling after an atrocious start to the series, but came up big when his team needed him the most in Game 6. Devan Dubnyk has been cool and steady since joining the Minnesota Wild, as no such controversy is relevant to the Wild. Both squads seem to be playing their best hockey at the most important time of the year. Can Minnesota’s hot streak carry them over to the Western Conference Finals?

In what I see being a fantastic and highly contested series, I’m going to take the Chicago Blackhawks. As I stated earlier, the Hawks are too talented up front and have too many weapons. The dull yet very effective style of the Minnesota Wild takes the Hawks to the limit, but just isn’t enough. Chicago will expose the flaws of Devan Dubnyk’s game. Hawks in 7.