Game #58: Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues, Saturday February 18, 2012 at 1:00pm (CST), ScottTrade Center [GAME PREVIEW]

Record Pts Div. Rank G/G GA/G PP% PK%
Minnesota Wild (25-23-9) 59 4th Northwest 2.18 (29) 2.51 (9) 15.2% (24)

83.0% (12)

St. Louis Blues
(35-15-7) 77 2nd Central 2.51 (21) 1.90 (1) 15.1% (25) 81.4% (20)

 

Minnesota Wild
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #15 Dany Heatley 19 22 41
2. #9 Mikko Koivu 10 27 37
3. #21 Kyle Brodziak 15 14 29
4. #7 Matt Cullen 11 18 29
5. #10 Devin Setoguchi 14 10 24
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #22 Cal Clutterbuck 83
2. #4 Clayton Stoner 47
3. #21 Kyle Brodziak 43
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (14-15-6) 2.38 .921
2. #37 Josh Harding (9-8-3) 2.52 .920
3. #31 Matt Hackett (2-0-0) 0.85 .977
St. Louis Blues
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #42 David Backes 17 25 42
2. #74 T.J. Oshie 15 24 39
3. #27 Alex Pietrangelo 10 22 32
4. #57 David Perron 11 15 26
5. #44 Jason Arnott 13 12 25
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #42 David Backes 85
2. #25 Chris Stewart 78
3. #75 Ryan Reaves 69
 
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #1 Brian Elliott (19-5-2) 1.61 .940
2. #41 Jaroslav Halak  (16-10-5)  2.26 .923
. . .
. . .

  

I’ll admit, I keep hoping to get online and find the wonderful news that the Minnesota Wild have been able to unload Marek Zidlicky.  Last night, we went to a Wisconsin girls’ hockey playoff game to watch one of my husband’s students play.  The girls of the Badger Thunder managed to pull off a 3-1 win.  When we got home, of course we checked the league scores and to see if the Wild’s soap opera was finally over.  But alas, no.  Now, when I woke up this morning even though I was far from being fully awake, I had that hopeful feeling.  But still, no midnight miracle.  But hey, I’m still hopeful.

Strangely enough, it appears that someone has told the struggling defensemen to temper his words and to use fewer of them.  Lately, we’ve become used to Zidlicky spouting off about how unhappy he is, and doing so rather often.  Ever since this story became the trainwreck that it is, we’ve come to expect long rants, bordering on lunacy.  On Friday, the Wild had an optional practice, in which only nine skaters along with both goaltenders participated.  I have to admit, I was surprised that Zidlicky was one of those nine.  All he had to say to the Minneapolis Star Tribune this time were these few, well-tempered sentences:

“It is what it is, the situation around me,” Zidlicky said. “I don’t want to say anything more.”

Asked if he had, indeed, said he would waive the no-trade clause for the right trade, Zidlicky said: “Probably. That’s the way I feel right now. So we’ll see what happens. First, my priority was to stay here.”

It is my hope that Zidlicky’s agent, Larry Kelly finally said something to the effect of “if you don’t watch what you say, no team is going to want you.”  General managers look at more than a player’s goals and assists when considering whether or not to try an acquire a player.  Don’t believe me?  Read articles and watch hockey programs around the time of the Entry Draft.  It has become well-known that teams will ask draft eligible players “odd” questions to get a read on a young player’s personality and mental fortitude.  Right now, you can bet the other twenty-nine general managers, especially those that are in need of an experienced defensemen in for the playoffs, have been watching this drama unfold.  They will eventually determine whether or not Zidlicky’s bad attitude is worth risking.  It is also going to be difficult for Chuck Fletcher to get anything decent in return.  And it’s possible that Fletcher had a meeting with Zidlicky and said something like “listen, I will do my best to get a good deal for you that we’re both happy with, but in order for me to do that, I need you to not express your displeasure so loudly and so frequently.” 

So we continue with the waiting game.  And as we all know, waiting is usually the hardest part.

Injury Report:

Minnesota:       Carson McMillan (lower body), Clayton Stoner (hip), Guillaume Latendresse (concussion), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion, groin),   Clayton Stoner (leg)    

St. Louis
Carlo Colaiacovo (wrist, questionable), Alexander Steen (concussion), Matt D’Agostini (head)

Jack Jablonski  Jenna Privette

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