The Chicago Blackhawks get their Western Conference second-round series underway Friday night in an unexpected place. The opponent, however, is all too familiar.
The Minnesota Wild's upset of Colorado in the opening round provides the 'Hawks home ice in this series. It also gives the fans an encore of last season's playoff matchup in which Chicago dispatched the Wild in five games.
Both teams come into this round more or less as they did a year ago. These two clubs are familiar with what makes the other tick. There should be few surprises for either Chicago coach Joel Quenneville or Wild coach Mike Yeo.
Much as it did in the opening round with St. Louis, the meeting of divisional opponents should continue to amp up the playoff intensity. As Chicago and Minnesota prepare to lace up the skates, here are five matchups worth paying attention to in this series.