NHL Odds: Wild-Blackhawks in Upside-Down Central

How fortunes take a tumble! One year ago, the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild finished first and second in the Western Conference standings. Things have changed considerably since those heady days. These same two teams are at the bottom of the Central Division heading into Wednesday’s showdown at the United Center; the puck drops at 8 PM Eastern on NBCSN.

To be fair, it hasn’t been a total disaster for either club. The Central happens to be the dominant division in hockey right now, with zero teams posting a negative goal differential. The last-place Hawks (20-15-6) have a plus-11 differential, while the Wild (22-17-3) have scored exactly as many goals this year as they’ve given up. There’s plenty of time for both to make a playoff run during the second half of the regular season.

It’s to be expected that in such evenly matched games, good health will be imperative as always. Minnesota doesn’t have anyone on the injured list, but the Hawks are without four players, including No. 1 goaltender Corey Crawford (.929 save percentage), who’s out indefinitely with an upper-body injury. Wednesday will be the second of back-to-back games for both clubs; Devan Dubnyk (.916 SV%) is projected to start in net for the Wild opposite either Anton Forsberg (.909 SV%) or Jeff Glass (.908 SV%).

NHL Odds: Wild-Hawks at United Center

The top two teams in the West last year will collide Wednesday night (8 PM ET, NBCSN) when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild. It’s been a somewhat difficult first half for both clubs this year; Chicago (20-15-6) is dead last in the Central, one point behind Minnesota (22-17-3) with a game in hand.

The Hawks also have to do without injured goaltender Corey Crawford (.929 save percentage), leaving either Anton Forsberg (.909 SV%) or Jeff Glass (.908 SV%) to face the Wild on zero days of rest. Devan Dubnyk (.916 SV%) is projected to start for Minnesota.

After a disappointing first half for both teams, the Chicago Blackhawks (20-15-6) will host the Minnesota Wild (22-17-3) this Wednesday night, beginning at 8 PM ET on NBCSN. Devan Dubnyk (.916 SV%) is expected to start for the Wild against either Anton Forsberg (.909 SV%) or Jeff Glass (.908 SV%).

They’re the bottom two teams in the Central Division after leading the West last year, but the Chicago Blackhawks (20-15-6) and Minnesota Wild (22-17-3) have plenty of time to make a second-half playoff push, beginning Wednesday night in Chicago at 8 PM ET on NBCSN.

They were the top two teams in the West last year, but they’ll battle for the Central Division basement spot this Wednesday (8 PM ET, NBCSN) when the 20-15-6 Chicago Blackhawks host the 22-17-3 Minnesota Wild.