Game #73: Minnesota Wild vs Calgary Flames, Thursday March 22, 2012 at 7:00pm (CST), Xcel Energy Center [GAME PREVIEW]

Record Pts Div. Rank G/G GA/G PP% PK%
Minnesota Wild (23-30-10) 70 4th Northwest 2.06 (30) 2.65 (16) 15.0% (25)

82.9% (13)

Calgary Flames
(34-26-14) 82 3rd Northwest 2.43 (26) 2.61 (13) 17.2% (15) 83.6%(9)

 

Minnesota Wild
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #15 Dany Heatley 20 26 46
2. #21 Kyle Brodziak 19 20 39
3. #9 Mikko Koivu 10 27 37
4. #7 Matt Cullen 14 20 34
5. #10 Devin Setoguchi 18 13 31
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #22 Cal Clutterbuck 95
2. #21 Kyle Brodziak 62
3. #28 Matt Kassian 55
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (17-17-6) 2.44 .920
2. #37 Josh Harding (10-10-4) 2.68 .916
3. #31 Matt Hackett (3-5-0) 2.30 .927
Calgary Flames
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #12 Jarome Iginla 31 31 61
2. #13 Olli Jokinen 21 37 58
3. #40 Alex Tanguay 12 36 48
4. #20 Curtis Glencross 25 20 45
5. #93 Mike Cammalleri 15 18 33
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #15 Tim Jackman 88
2. #5 Mike Giordano 61
3. #6 Cory Sarich 60
 
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #1 Miikka Kiprusoff (33-19-10) 2.33 .922
2. #35 Leland Irving (1-3-3) 3.20 .912
3. #33 Henrik Karlsson (0-4-1) 3.45 .894
. .

 

As the old saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20.  Of course, I can’t remember the last time I had 20/20 vision, and even with contact lenses it’s not quite perfect.  Let’s just say my vision is horrible without my contacts or a pair of glasses.  We’ve all had moments in our lives, where when we look back and think we should have done things differently or things would have been different if a certain event hadn’t happened to us.  However, our past is just that, our past, and there is nothing that we can do to change our pasts.

In the world of sports (at all levels), hindsight could almost be a statistic of its own.  Even teams that win their respective championships have moments when they think back and ask themselves “what would have happened if…?”  For those championship teams, they might wonder if they had won their league if a certain player hadn’t come back from injury or if they hadn’t been able to pull off an important trade.  For the teams that don’t win, they will spend the entire off-season wondering and examining what they did wrong, didn’t do at all, or the other issues their team faced.  Was it injuries?  Or coaching?  Or a combination of a bunch of factors?  This sense of hindsight is one thing that makes sports interesting and keeps us coming back.  We want to see if our teams that struggled can finally pull it all together or the team that we absolutely hate falls apart.

For Wild fans, we got an interesting dose of hindsight this week.  A story was released recently that told of an accident that Minnesota forward Devin Setoguchi was involved in just weeks after his trade from San Jose.  He didn’t do anything wrong, it was just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Professional athletes get banged up, and in their off-seasons, they often visit a chiropractor.  Such was the case with Setoguchi.  Not only was he dealing with the aches and pains of the regular season, but the post-season as well, which is often even more intense.  As the story goes, a woman who drives her car using hand controls accelerated instead of stopped while parking.  Her car crashed through a concrete flower planter outside and then into the office itself.  While Setoguchi was able to avoid the brunt of the hit, he was still hit.  In that hit, he received bruises to his back as well as cuts all over his backside and even more importantly to his hands.  He had to receive stitches to the cuts on his hands.  The cuts, bruising, and I’m sure the mental aspect of being hit by a car clearly effected his first training camp in Minnesota.  Even Wild head coach Mike Yeo knew he wasn’t 100% ready for training camp.  Knowing what he dealt with this summer, it does explain why he seemed less than what he was in San Jose.

I’m am very glad that the injuries he suffered were “minor” considering what happened, one almost has to ask the ugly question.  The reason Setoguchi says the injuries were not more serious, is that he heard the lady hit the concrete flower planter.  Had she not heard that crash, he would not have been able to move away as much as he did.  One almost has to ask the ugly “what if” in this situation.  What would have happened if this accident had taken Setoguchi’s ability to walk from him, or even worse, his life?  It would have been devastating not only for the psyche of the team, but the physical makeup as well.  To get Setoguchi, we had to trade fan-favorite, Brent Burns.  There are those who would have been very upset that we traded a talented defenseman if in the long run we had ended up with nothing.  And considering the horrible off-season that hockey had this past year, I am very thankful that Setoguchi is for the most part okay.  Personally, I am glad that we never had to ask these questions.

Since hindsight is often depressing, it wise now to look forward.  As fans, we gain nothing looking back.

Injury Report:

Minnesota:  Mikko Koivu (shoulder, questionable), Mike Lundin (lower body),  Guillaume Latendresse (concussion), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion, groin),     Niklas Backstrom (groin, questionable), Justin Falk (leg)    

Calgary
Blair Jones (broken left ankle), Mikael Backlund (left arm), Christ Butler (lacerated left thight), Mike Cammalleri (upper body), Lance Bouma (upper body), TJ Brodie (upper body)       

Jack Jablonski  Jenna Privette

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