By offensive statistical accounts, Minnesota is winning this series.
Colorado, however, looks better in goal and on special teams.
Both teams are also an overtime goal away from being down 0-2. With the series shifting to Colorado for tonight’s game, I thought I’d take a quick look at the numbers so far:
Minnesota averaged 2.72 goals per game in the regular season, while Colorado averaged 2.82 goals per game in the regular season.
Shots on Goal:
However you look at it, Minnesota is winning on the offensive end.
Goalie Save Percentage:
Minnesota (Backstrom): 89.6
Colorado (Theodore): 91.8
Backstrom averaged a .92 save percentage in the regular season, while Theodore averaged a .91. Backstrom’s average is pulled down by the fact that he has seen far fewer shots than Theodore.
It’s hard to say who is winning on defense. Colorado has allowed many more shots, but Minnesota has allowed many more better shots. I think defensively both teams are even.
Colorado, ranked third to last in the Western Conference in percentage of power plays killed, is keeping Minnesota’s power play in check, which was second best in the conference during the regular season. They are also scoring on Minnesota's power play kill, which was ranked second in the conference.
Game 3 Tonight
Minnesota is winning the series on offense, but Colorado is making up for it on special teams and in the goal. Colorado has had fewer chances on the power play, yet have matched the Wild in goals. And if Theodore continues to play as he has, Minnesota will find it tough going.
I predicted that the teams would split the games in Minnesota, which they did. I think they will also split the games in Colorado.
Both teams cannot afford to go down 3-1. If Colorado goes down 3-1, they will then have to head back to Minnesota to try to stay in the series. Minnesota will be slightly better off, as they would then head home to play for their playoff lives.
Both teams would obviously like to win both tonight’s and tomorrow’s games, but both need a split.
Game 3 is tonight at 10 ET.