The Minnesota Wild are just hours away from facing the St. Louis Blues but there is no time like the present to go around to each Hockey Wilderness writer and see what they predict the outcome of the series will be.
We are Bold.
Grace — Wild in seven!!!! I think it’ll be a rough start, the first game looking emblematic of the Wild’s 2-5-4 record against the Blues over the past two seasons. But they’ll rally and win the next one so they get a win a The X before heading to St Louis and the Number One Fans banner will flutter and sparkle or something. Also: Not to throw any bad vibes out there buuuuut, it’s gonna be messy and there’s like gotta be a significant injury. Sorry guys. someone we love won’t play all the way through. But still, there’s no way they’re not going to the second round this year, hopefully not too battered and bruised to take on the Avalanche next.
Brock — Wild in seven. This year has just felt different for Minnesota. While in previous years the team barely scraped into the playoffs, this team feels like they genuinely believe they can make a deep run. With the emergence of two genuine stars in Kaprizov and Fiala, Minnesota has the ability to combine their great physicality in the bottom six with dynamic offense in the top six. In previous years, this has never been an option and it just seemed that when a goal was needed it could never be found. However, I do think the series is going to be incredibly close. St. Louis has destroyed Minnesota in the past few seasons and had their number once again this season. Ultimately, I could see it going either way, but I do think the fact that this has been arguably the most exciting regular season in Wild history could provide the momentum Minnesota needs to sneak by.
Thomas — Wild in seven. It is going to be a hell of a series and most of you already know that, but I think the regular-season schedule — the Blues took all three games in the end — is clouding my confidence for Minnesota to kill them off earlier than the full seven games. It can go a multitude of ways, but both teams are built too similarly for them not to go the length. Unless something weird happens.
Matt — Wild in six. The Blues have great goaltending, but their defensive prowess is a little overrated. They have some very good offensive forwards but haven't got the defense to keep up with the Wild’s own group. Ville Husso is an x-factor and is capable of stealing games, but the Wild have two goalies of that ilk. It’s going to be a rough, tough and close series. Home ice advantage is a huge win for the Wild and will play a big role in the series tipping in Minnesota's favor.
Jeff — I have the Wild in seven. These two teams have been closely contested for most of the season, and despite the streak that the Blues hold over the Wild, streaks are meant to be broken. I think the firepower of the Wild can take advantage of the Blues defense, and if the Boldy-Gaudreau-Fiala line can keep up their incredible play, they should be able to take away some of the focus on Kirill Kaprizov, Ryan Hartman, and Mats Zuccarello.
Chris — I look at two teams who are built for a long post-season. I love what Guerin was able to put together at the trade deadline, and these two teams are likely going to kick the crap out of each other. If Fleury can be the goalie that all Wild fans hope that he can, and the team are able to rely on some depth scoring to compete with the Blues, then I’ll take Wild in six.
Maddie — Gimme the Wild in six. I think the Blues are good enough to make this an interesting series, especially if they can goad the Wild into taking some dumb penalties and their power play really gets going, but I don’t know if I trust them enough to be able to take the series. I think their goaltending is suspect and I think the Wild can exploit that. And if they can keep this well enough to 5-on-5, I like their chances. Their regular season under-lyings are better by just about every metric, so the Wild with the better overall process has me coming into this one feeling much more confident in their chances.
Wow, people that watch and think about the Wild all day long, like that team winning? Who woulda thought?
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