Wow! All the top 4 teams advanced except Tampa Bay, and they got swept. This will be a gruelling playoffs. With Backstrom out and Ribeiro my top line C I don't think I stand much of a chance. I will give it my all tho.
The Minnesota Wild were very pumped for Round 2 and would like to thank the Nashville Predators for a very enjoyable series!
The Western Semi-Finals began with a very back and forth and physical affair as both opponents became acquainted with eachother. Late game heroics were needed as the game was tied 2-2 halfway into the 3rd. Fortune favoured the Wild as they were awarded a powerplay and Henrik Zetterburg demonstrated his top-end skill by batting the puck out of mid air and into the net for his second goal of the night. Minutes later Zach Parise was given a penalty shot and made no mistake with a sleek backhand deke which put the game away. Minnesota took the first game 4-2 and jumped out to a 1-0 series lead.
A stroke of luck was all that was needed in the second game. A Michael Del Zotto point shot ricocheted off Shea Weber's hip and past Pekka Rinne early in the game. Both goaltender's were unbeatable for the remainder of the game, sealing the Wild's 1-0 Game 2 victory.
The Wild, having taken care of home ice, shifted their focus on stealing game 3 in a hostile Nashville environment. They focused on clamping down defensively and received excellent goaltending from vetern Nicklas Backstrom. Devin Setoguchi tickled the twine twice as Minnesota snatched a 3-0 Win.
Nashville fought to the very end and played well enough to win, but Captain Mikko Koivu refused to be denied and was named the game's 1st star, notching a key goal and assist. The Wild skated to a 4-2 victory and ended a hard fought series 4-0. "It's a great feeling to be moving on to the next round. The new guys have really instilled a confidence in this locker room; guys like Hank and Parise and Suter. We just have this attitude that we can win any game if we play the way we know we can. We're going to enjoy this win tonight and then turn our attention to the winner of Phoenix and LA. They're both solid teams and we want to be fully prepared for the upcoming battle". - Koivu
Minnesota is moving on to the Conference Finals for only the 2nd time in franchise history. It's been a very enjoyable playoffs so far and I'm stoked to continue the intensity next round!