What you need to know today.
So, here's the thing. They CAN do this. The Hawks are the better, more-skilled team without a doubt. In game 3 the Wild played pretty much a perfect game (for them), and they still needed OT. So their margin for error is wafer thin. So, caveat, caveat, caveat.
But, yeah, why not? There's actual pressure on the Hawks now. Even though they'd still hold home ice advantage, they absolutely do not want to go 2-2. No one would, regardless of the opponent.
If the Wild can replicate the physicality, and if they can improve on their consistency (no 8-minute defensive shells this time please), why not?
I really thought Setoguchi was good in game 3. I think cutting the cord on the injured Rupp and Konopka and just replacing them with healthy bodies alone is an improvement at this point. If they were healthy that might be different, but they're not. We talked about it on the podcast and I'm not big on dressing Dumba. Scandella has played fine, Gilbert at least hasn't gotten embarrassed, and Spurgeon has played well. Falk needs to show that he can learn from his near-costly mistake last game, but I'd still rather see him in there than Dumba. And nothing need be said about the top pair.
Mikko rebounded from a poor game 2 with a solid game 3, even if it didn't show on the scoresheet (other than faceoffs-won).
But they cannot afford any drop off in intensity from game 3. They have to use that game's performance as a starting point and improve on it. Anything less and it could be over by the first intermission.
You'll note that I have not changed by series prediction, but I'll be happy to have it go up in smoke.
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