Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene and advises you to never take his betting advice. He likes old guitars and old music, never eats press box hot dogs, and can be heard on 1500ESPN at 2:05 p.m. weekdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m.-noon.

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Is there reason for optimism? Maybe....

Posted by: Jim Souhan under Wild coaching, Wild management, Wild news Updated: April 30, 2013 - 5:20 PM

By now you've probably heard a dozen reasons why the Wild can't compete with the Blackhawks in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. All those reasons are legit.

If you prefer to search for reasons for optimism, here's one that might work for you:

Corey Crawford.

The Blackhawks are talented, deep and well-coached, and Crawford is an outstanding goaltender. If the Wild has any chance in this series, Crawford will have to be less than stellar. And that's a possibility.

Crawford has been solid statistically in the postseason, but consider his record. In the regular season, he's 83-43-19. In the playoffs, he's 5-8. Last year, in the first round against Phoenix, he allowed soft goals in Games 3 and 4 to Mikkel Boedker, a big reason the Hawks didn't advance.

There are a couple of lesser reasons for optimism. The Blackhawks scored goals on just 5 of their last 40 power plays of the regular season, and two of the three games between the teams this year were decided by one goal.

I believe the Wild will miss not only Jason Pominville, who appears to be out because of a concussion, but also Dany Heatley. Heatley was the rare Wild forward who could battle in the crease and score ugly goals.

Replacing Pominville is Zenon Konopka, who scored zero points this season and took a lot of bad penalties. If Konopka can bother the Blackhawks with physical play, maybe he can make a positive impact. But he has not been a worthwhile player this year.

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I'll be on 1500ESPN with Tom Pelissero at 6:30. Tomorrow, I"ll be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:15 a.m. and 1500ESPN at noon with Judd & Dubay.

You can follow me on Twitter at @Souhanstrib.

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Philadelphia - WP: R. Hernandez 2 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 1
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 2
Texas - LP: J. Williams 2 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 12
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 4
Cincinnati - WP: M. Latos 5 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 5 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3 FINAL
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 4
Minnesota 7 Top 9th Inning
Chicago WSox 10
Toronto - LP: A. Loup 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Veras 3
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4
Kansas City 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Oakland 0
Pittsburgh 1 Top 7th Inning
Arizona 4
Atlanta 1 Top 6th Inning
San Diego 5
Chicago Cubs 5 Top 5th Inning
Los Angeles 1
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/7/14 6:00 PM
NY Jets
San Francisco 8/7/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New England 8/7/14 6:30 PM
Washington
Cincinnati 8/7/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
Seattle 8/7/14 8:00 PM
Denver
Dallas 8/7/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Winnipeg 27 FINAL
Hamilton 26
Toronto 31 FINAL
Montreal 5
Brt Columbia 10 12:12
Calgary 21
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Calgary
Connecticut 89 FINAL
San Antonio 79

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