CHICAGO, IL - MAY 3: Brandon Bollig #52, Andrew Shaw #65 and Michael Frolik #67 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after Frolik scored in the first period, as Justin Falk #44 of the Minnesota Wild stands in the foreground, in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on May 03, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

Wild coach: We need to hate the Blackhawks


The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Chicago Blackhawks have a 2-0 series lead over the Minnesota Wild going into this afternoon’s contest (3:00 p.m. ET, NBC). Wild coach Mike Yeo didn’t shy away from the fact that his team is “desperate,” according to the Star Tribune.

Yeo wants to see the Wild play an intense game and in order to do that, they need to hate the Blackhawks.

“There’s no question that I really believe that to be successful, there has to be a level of hatred for the team that you’re playing against,” Yeo said. “It shouldn’t be hard for us. They’re trying to take away something from us.”

In particular, Yeo wants to see Minnesota play a more physical game against Chicago’s key defensemen.

“You look back at the game and we have opportunities to finish checks on a guy like [Duncan] Keith and we’re not taking those opportunities,” Yeo said. “We have to understand it’s more than just that play. It’s about investing in the series and making sure that every time they’re going to touch a puck that they know that you’re coming.”

Prior to the start of Sunday’s contest, Minnesota called up Mikael Granlund, Stephane Veilleux, and Jake Dowell.

It’s also worth noting that Josh Harding will make his third straight start in the playoffs.

Campbell’s perfect snipe sinks Wings in OT


Brian Campbell doesn’t score as many points as he used to, but he came up with a huge goal against the Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

With the game tied, 1-1, in overtime, Campbell skated into the slot and beat Petr Mrazek with a perfect wrister to end the game.

It was also a pretty nice passing play between Jussi Jokinen, Jonathan Huberdeau and Campbell.

Dylan Larkin opened the scoring in the second period before Reilly Smith leveled the score with just over five minutes remaining.

The Wings have blown a lead in three straight games.

Detroit was up 2-0 and 3-2 in their last game, against Edmonton, before they finally closed the game out with an overtime goal by Niklas Kronwall.

They weren’t so fortunate against the Bruins on Wednesday, as they lost 3-2 in OT after leading 2-1 with under two minutes remaining in regulation.

This was the first meeting of the season between Detroit and Florida, but they’ll see each other three times between Feb. 4 and Mar. 19.

With Jonathan Bernier sputtering, we’ll meet Garret Sparks

Garett Sparks
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You can’t blame Mike Babcock for siding with the relatively unknown when the other option is Jonathan Bernier, a goalie who’s 0-8-1 so far in 2015-16.

With that in mind, meet Garret Sparks, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected starter for Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sparks was a seventh-round pick (190th overall) in 2011, a guy who was off to a great start in the AHL. That much wasn’t lost on Babcock.

Let’s face it, though; this is as much about the Leafs’ other two goalies as it is about Sparks (whose name inspired a very obscure reference in this post’s headline).

In Bernier’s case, there’s an “enough’s enough” feel:

Meanwhile, James Reimer‘s not quite healthy enough to play yet, so the window of opportunity is open for Sparks … a little bit.

Sparks will get a chance to make an impression, even if it’s just a small one.

Video: Dylan Larkin adds to his rookie goals lead

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So far, the 2015-16 crop of rookies is living up to the hype, if not exceeding it. Connor McDavid‘s unfortunate injury hasn’t even derailed this year’s crop.

The Detroit Red Wings are watching their own blue chip blossom, as Dylan Larkin is making an instant impact.

No. 71 scored his 10th goal of the season against the Florida Panthers on Sunday, fattening his rookie goals lead.

He still needs five points to match rookie points leader Artemi Panarin, though.

Latest report leaves Carey Price’s injury timeline fuzzy

Carey Price
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There’s one thing we seem to know about Carey Price‘s injury situation: he first got hurt stepping on a puck on Oct. 29, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Contrary to earlier reports about him missing about a month, it sounds like his window of recovery is still up in the air (which, to be fair, could mean that he’ll still miss about a month when it’s all said and done).

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Price underwent testing with Montreal’s team doctor on Saturday and is expected to go through more; we may not know more about his expected injury timeline until early this coming week.

So, basically, Price’s situation is fuzzier than his mustache right now.

Leg injuries can be tricky anyway, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that there are mixed signals regarding Price, and this may remain a fluid situation for some time.

(But we’ll hopefully know more soon enough.)