I wrote a column for Friday's paper to advance Game 4 in which I wondered how the Wild would respond after winning Game 3. I viewed this as an opportunity for the Wild to show that it is serious about winning this series and truly ready to challenge the defending champions.
I guess we got the answer.
The Wild outplayed the Blackhawks to even the series and got important contributions throughout the lineup. I wrote my column on Ilya Bryzgalov, who gave up a soft goal with 38 seconds left in the first period but made a huge save on Patrick Sharp's breakaway later to preserve a one-goal lead.
I know Bryz makes people nervous, but he had a couple of critical saves tonight and the Wild has to hope that he can hold up as the pressure builds in this series.
Matt Cooke made his presence felt in his return from suspension. His line was terrific tonight.
I continue to be incredibly impressed with the development of Erik Haula in particular among the young guys. Haula's speed is so disruptive and he plays with a ton of confidence for a rookie.
Finally, Yeo and a number of Wild players credited and/or thanked the fans tonight. The noise inside Xcel Energy Center was as loud as I've ever experienced here. Great atmosphere for sure.
Chip Scoggins is a Star Tribune sports columnist. He previously covered the Minnesota Vikings for four years, starting in 2008. In addition, he covered college football for five years. Chip has been with the Star Tribune since January 2000. He can be followed on twitter at @chipscoggins.
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