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Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Undefeated Hawks take on Wild

Jan 30, 2013, 7:50 AM EDT

Niklas Backstrom #32 of the Minnesota Wild looks on as Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks scores during a shootout on December 14, 2011 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 4-3 in a shootout.
(December 13, 2011 - Source: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Chicago Blackhawks will head to the Xcel Energy Center for a match against the Minnesota Wild at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Many players talked about the importance of a hot start before the condensed season got underway, but the Blackhawks were one of the few teams to successfully execute. They not only managed to bank points early, they’ve come through in tight contests and have set a franchise record with their 6-0-0 start.

Everything seems to be going right for Chicago so far this season. This isn’t just a matter of its top guys contributing either. 11 Blackhawks players have already found the back of the net and 10 have at least three points this season. Among those that don’t are blueliners Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson, who have instead chipped in by logging big minutes and doing some of the less talked about things like blocking shots.

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The Wild can match the Blackhawks blow-for-blow in terms of star power thanks to the summer additions of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, but the big question is if they’re deep enough to compete with Chicago. Going into their match against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, 10 of the Wild’s 13 goals had been netted by their top line of Parise, Dany Heatley, and Mikko Koivu.

That’s one of the reasons why Minnesota was 2-2-1 at that point. However, the Wild’s secondary scorers led the way against Columbus in a 3-2 win Tuesday. If they can do the same tonight, then Chicago might suffer its first loss of the season.

Probable goaltenders: CHI – Corey Crawford (5-0-0, 1.78 GAA, .933 SV%) | MIN – Josh Harding (1-1-0, 2.56 GAA, .902 SV%)

Top scorers: CHI – atrick Kane (2-7-9, 6 GP) | MIN – Parise (5-4-9, 6 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Chicago – Forwards: Daniel Carcillo (knee) Defensemen: Michal Rozsival (lower body), Steve Montador (concussion)
Minnesota – Defensemen: Jared Spurgeon (foot)

  1. langforc - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Am I the only one that wasn’t aware that this was a “fierce” rivalry?

    I like the idea of featuring fierce rivalries on Wednesday night but I was shocked when I saw the promo for this particular game.

    • nvandy42 - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      The North Stars and Blackhawks were rivals for a lot of years. If the realignment happens, this rivalry will definitely heat up again. I think it would be good for the Midwest and good for hockey. I love this matchup.

      • lordfletcher - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        This was one of the best rivalries at one point in time. Thanks to our buddy Norm Green “Only an idiot could lose money on hockey in Minnesota” moved the team because he couldn’t keep his creepy hands of the ladies he employed and wife forced the sale….. Chicago and Minnesota hated each other. Possibly more than any other rivalry in the sport. I remember going to games as a child and watching several fights break out in the crowds…. realignment has been promised under the table to Craig Leipold, so I expect the Wild fans to quickly learn to hate the Hawks, Jets, possibly Blues and Preds depending on which teams go where.

        as of this day in age. there is no rivalry between these two teams, players – coaches, fans,


    • sabatimus - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      They’re trying to drum up rivalries that simply don’t exist. Same thing last week when the Bruins and Rangers faced off. Tomorrow night’s Sabres/Bruins game is more of a rivalry. But that doesn’t stop the publicity mongers…

  2. dadawg77 - Jan 30, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Maybe for the wild this is fierce. The Notthstars were rivals for the Hawks back in the day. But still it can’t be anything better then fourth. Det, St, Van are the top three.

  3. jrmehle - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Agree completely with dadawg77. This is manufactured TV BS. Maybe once realignment happens and the Wild and Hawks are in the same division, things will heat up.

    The one team I would add as rivals is the Jets. It’s hard to justify being a rival after just two games, but if you were at either of them you would agree. Best atmosphere of any regular season game I’ve ever been to.

  4. buffalomafia - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Bruins look like a complete team so far!

  5. ironmike778 - Jan 30, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    This is every bit the concocted “rivalry” as the Bruins-Rangers last week. Trust me, I go back nearly 45 years with the Bruins, the Rangers are not even close to being a rival. It was a sorry attempt to play up the Boston-New York thing.

  6. MannySilvers - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Rivalry wednesday is a great idea, but start doing some real rivalries, even if they’re not the greatest ones, here are some:

    Habs / Bruins
    Habs / Leafs
    Devils / Rangers
    Flyers / Penguins
    Penguins / Caps
    Rangers / Islanders
    Blackhawks / Redwings
    Redwings / Avalanche
    Oilers / Flames
    Panthers / Lightning
    Flyers / Rangers
    Flyers / Devils
    Ducks / Kings

    Go nuts.

  7. lostpuppysyndrome - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    “There was hitting, there was goals, there were saves…” Give this guy an award. Jeez, Pierre…

  8. drewsylvania - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Yet another piece of trolling by NBC. As if Wild-Hawks is a rivalry. Hell, Bruins-Rangers isn’t even a rivarly.

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