Wild-Blackhawks: Immovable force vs. unstoppable object?
It isn’t quite an immovable force meeting an unstoppable object, but something has to give when the Minnesota Wild host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
The Blackhawks enter the Xcel Energy Center as the hottest road team in the NHL, having won six straight away from home. Only two teams have a longer road winning streak this season: Columbus (8) and Minnesota (7).
Chicago’s numbers in February are eye-popping: six games with four or more goals, a plus-15 goal differential and 40 percent power-play efficiency.
However, as we know, the Wild are no slouches.
Minnesota has a chance to extend its lead in the Central Division over Chicago, which is currently seven points with a game in hand.
The Wild just happen to be 8-0-1 against the Blackhawks in the last nine meetings (the only victory for Chicago was in overtime a couple of weeks ago).
And while Chicago might be scoring in bunches recently, Minnesota has 16 games with five or more goals, which is third in the NHL, just once behind the Rangers and Capitals.
Looking for a player to watch? Nino Niederreiter is averaging 1.43 points per game against Chicago since 2015-16 (only St. Louis’ Vladimir Tarasenko, at 1.44, has a higher rate in that span).
Also, Minnesota is 14-0-0 this season when Eric Staal has a goal. Of course, Chicago is 18-0-1 when Marian Hossa lights the lamp.
If both those players score, well, maybe it will be a case of an immovable force vs. an unstoppable object.
Statistics courtesy STATS