Game #12: Minnesota Wild vs Vancouver Canucks, Thursday November 3, 2011 at 7:00pm (CDT), Xcel Energy Center [GAME PREVIEW]

Record Pts Div. Rank G/G GA/G PP% PK%
Minnesota Wild (5-3-3) 13 3rd NW 1.91 (30) 2.09 (4) 12.5% (27)

79.0% (22)

Vancouver Canucks
(6-5-1) 13 4th NW 3.00 (7) 2.75 (19) 22.4% (4) 86.8% (8)

 

Minnesota Wild
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #10 Devin Setoguchi 4 3 7
2. #15 Dany Heatley 3 4 7
3. #9 Mikko Koivu 1 6 7
4. #7 Matt Cullen 4 1 5
5. #48 Guillaume Latendresse 1 4 5
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #16 Brad Staubitz 15
2. #48 Guillaume Latendresse 12
3. #21 Kyle Brodziak 6
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (3-3-2) 2.30 .912
2. #37 Josh Harding (2-0-1) 1.30 .965
Vancouver Canucks
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #22 Daniel Sedin 5 9 14
2. #33 Henrik Sedin 4 10 14
3. #23 Alexander Edler 3 9 12
4. #20 Chris Higgins 6 2 8
5. #6 Sami Salo 3 5 8
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #3 Kevin Bieksa 23
2. #54 Aaron Volpatti 18
3. #32 Dale Weise 17
 
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #1 Roberto Luongo (4-3-1) 3.20 .883
2. #35 Cory Schneider (2-2-0) 1.97 .927
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Every day in life, we face a test of one kind or another.  Sometimes it’s something like learning a new skill at our jobs or school that we must apply to do our job better.  However, the true tests in our lives involve difficulties we must overcome.  Those difficulties might be our relationships with significant others, our families, or children, severe illnesses, or a loss of a job.  The tests get harder, when one or more of those difficulties are involved at the same time.  Through the tests in my own life, I have discovered who I am.  The lessons we learn along with our self-identity hopefully strengthen our character in the long run. 

For the Minnesota Wild, the past two games have served as a test.  They faced a foe, who has often been a stumbling block for Minnesota.  There have been times, when the Wild have come out flat and played the entire game flat.  Others where they come out hard, but no matter what they do, they couldn’t score enough to get the win against Detroit.  However Saturday and Tuesday, we had moments of both.  I know for myself, with the way the game started on Tuesday, I was afraid of what the ultimate outcome was going to be.  Thankfully, they found enough fortitude (combined with some good luck) to overcome those struggles, and tallied wins on both nights.

Tonight, the Wild face a new test.  That test is coming in the form of goaltender Cory Schneider.  For whatever reason, Schneider is able to shut down the Wild, and his 4-1 record in six starts against Minnesota is proof of that. Schneider’s 1.67GAA and .927% save percentage should serve as a catalyst for Minnesota skaters to get as many shots on goal as possible, especially those from close range.  Against a high-scoring team like the Canucks who also have strong goaltending, the Wild simply cannot wait for the “perfect shot.”  Vancouver has skaters who will shoot, and will want to test Minnesota’s Josh Harding early and often, especially to see if they can shake his confidence after two huge wins against Detroit.  The Canucks are going to aware of the not-so-good numbers that Harding has against them.

Minnesota-native, Bud Wilkinson, may have said it best about life’s tests:

“We compete, not so much against an opponent, but against ourselves. The real test is this: Did I make my best effort on every play?”

Now we have to see if the Wild can face the tests thrown in their direction this evening.

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