New year, new results? Wild look to reverse the narrative

New year, new results? Wild look to reverse the narrative
May 1, 2014, 11:00 pm
Share This Post
Nina Falcone

Rewind a year ago, as the Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild skated onto the ice at the United Center, ready to kick off their first playoff game of the year.

Both teams began skating their usual line drills at the start of warmups as goaltenders Corey Crawford and Niklas Backstrom finished their stretches before getting in net.

But before fans even finished filing into their seats, Backstrom went down, and that pregame injury left the Wild without their starting netminder the remainder of the series; a series that only lasted five games.

[MORE: Tale of the tape: Blackhawks-Wild]

Fast forward a year, and the Wild find themselves in an awfully similar situation, as they're without Backstrom and Josh Harding. But now they're hoping to prove that this year is different.

"We won't really be able to tell you the differences (from 2013) until after the series," coach Mike Yeo said. "We have to prove that there's differences, we feel that there's some differences. We believe that there are some differences, but bottom line is that this will be a really good test and a really good challenge for us. We'll have to answer those questions as we go along."

Minnesota's already come back from a two-game deficit in their 1st round series against the Colorado Avalanche, and they've done so with backups Darcy Kuemper and Ilya Bryzgalov in net. 

[RELATED: Blackhawks not underestimating Wild in second round]

That helped instill an even greater confidence in their team, and they're hoping that translates against the Blackhawks.

"It's a good feeling going in that we played some good hockey against these guys (during the regular season) and we had some good games," Mikko Koivu said. "That should give us confidence going into the series, but at the same time, you never know what to expect. Game 1 is going to start 0-0 and nothing matters from what's behind us."

The Wild recorded a 3-1-1 record against the Blackhawks in the regular season. While they hope that gives them an extra confidence boost heading into the series, they realize that when it comes to the playoffs, you can never know what to expect.

Now they're ready to give these games their all in their attempt to reverse the narrative from 2013.

"We know we can play with them," forward Zach Parise said. "We know how good they are; they are the defending champs for a reason. But you throw the regular season out, these games are different. The regular season record doesn't really matter once you get into these games. We know how dangerous they are as a team and how sharp we have to be."