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.