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Prediction time: Wild 3, Avalanche 1

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wild coaching Updated: April 30, 2014 - 2:18 PM

 

The Wild has only looked lost in two situations in this series: when Nathan MacKinnon has the puck and a full head of steam ... or when Colorado gets some forechecking momentum in the Wild's offensive zone and Minnesota just doesn't get a clear it desperately needs.

 

We'd say these scenarios have accounted for roughly 80 percent of Colorado's 4-on-4, 5-on-5 and 6-on-5 goals in the series.

To that end, we don't believe Game 7 has to be the best game the Wild has played in this series in order for the road team to prevail. But we do think it will have to be the tightest -- not tight as in breezers in a bunch, tight as in lock it down. Pucks need to be cleared. MacKinnon and co. need to have their space closed down.

When that happens, the Wild is very much the better team. When it fails to do this, Colorado gets the life it needs to steal momentum and games. Remember, the Avs have only led with 90 seconds to play in one of six games. Four other times, Minnesota had the lead; the other, Game 3, was tied.

The game Minnesota needs to play involves poised relentlessness. Colorado's weakest link, clearly, has been its blueliners, so the forecheck needs to remain aggressive. But the play needs to be just as dogged in the other zone, too. There will be 8 to 10 times in this game when the Wild has a good chance to clear a puck out of danger. There cannot be costly turnovers or too-fancy plays in these cases.

Having watched all six games, we think the Wild has the ability to play this type of air-tight game. Ryan Suter, who has been good but also victimized by mistakes, will have his best game of the series. Minnesota will score first and slowly choke the air out of the building. And in the end, if it follows the formula we think the Wild needs, it'll be a 3-1 win and on to Chicago.

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Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 28 2nd Qtr 9:32
Cleveland 30
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 4:00 PM
Team Foligno
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 2nd Half 0:03
Marist 71
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 66 2nd Half 3:54
St Johns 63
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 28 2nd Half 19:40
Butler 32
NJIT 32 2nd Half 16:37
South Alabama 37
Northern Iowa 6 1st Half 17:07
Illinois State 4
Louisville 6 1st Half 15:12
Pittsburgh 8
UMBC 3:30 PM
Albany
Niagara 3:30 PM
Iona
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
UCF 60 2nd Half 0:03
SMU 57
Hartford 57 2nd Half 0:52
Albany 81
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 46 2nd Half 7:16
Xavier 49
Creighton 34 2nd Half 20:00
Marquette 35
Providence 18 2nd Half
DePaul 49
Northeastern 30 2nd Half
Elon 38
(2) Connecticut 48 2nd Half 20:00
Cincinnati 13
Oregon 32 2nd Half 20:00
Arizona 29
Bradley 19 2nd Half
Loyola-Chicago 23
NC State 29 2nd Half 20:00
(23) Syracuse 26
(7) Maryland 47 2nd Half
Indiana 29
Illinois State 20 2nd Half
Missouri State 30
Colorado 5 1st Half 17:47
Washington St 2
Tulane 0 1st Half 19:40
South Florida 2
(14) Kentucky 4 1st Half 18:25
Missouri 3
(9) Oregon State 2 1st Half 18:10
(13) Arizona State 5
Vermont 3:30 PM
UMass Lowell
Iowa State 3:30 PM
(8) Texas
Southern Ill 3:45 PM
Wichita State
(15) Duke 4:00 PM
(12) North Carolina
Miami-Florida 4:00 PM
(4) Louisville
(21) Minnesota 4:15 PM
(25) Rutgers
California 5:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC

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