With rivalry renewed, Wild coast to 5-1 win over Blackhawks

CHICAGO — Ask any Wild player from the past decade and they would almost certainly say the Chicago Blackhawks are the franchise’s biggest rival.

Sure, there’s bad blood with the Colorado Avalanche and the Winnipeg Jets. When push comes to shove, though, the rivalry with the Blackhawks hits different.

That’s because the Wild so often played the role of little brother in the matchup, bowing to the Blackhawks in the 2013 playoffs, 2014 playoffs and 2015 playoffs.

With how intense the rivalry was throughout the 2010’s, it feels weird that Wild haven’t played the Blackhawks since Feb. 4, 2020. They didn’t play last season due to the pandemic causing a temporary realignment throughout the league.

Not that the Wild were treating the Blackhawks any differently heading into Friday’s game at United Center.

“They play the same way as a couple of years back,” alternate captain Marcus Foligno insisted before the game. “We just always have to play that hard physical style and try to get to our game early against this team.”

Fittingly, Foligno opened the scoring on this particular night, and the Wild parlayed that into a 5-1 win over the Blackhawks.

Does it make up for the back-to-back-to-back losses to in the playoffs? Not a chance.

That said, it might signal a changing of the guard with the Wild potentially taking over the role of big brother for the foreseeable future.

“It was awesome,” said defenseman Matt Dumba,…

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