Game #1: Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings 10/3/13 @ 7:00PM Central at Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild (0-0-0)  Central

Top 5 Scorers (2012-13):

1.  #11 Zach Parise ~ 18G 20A = 38pts 

2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 11G 26A = 37pts

3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 4G 28A = 32pts

4. #15 Dany Heatley ~ 11G 10A = 21pts

5. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 5G 10A = 15pts

Top 3 PIM's (2012-13):

1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 117 PIM's

2. #16 Mike Rupp ~ 67 PIM's

3. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 42 PIM's

Top Goaltenders (2012-13):

1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (24-15-3)  2.48GAA  .909%SP  2 SO

2. #37 Josh Harding (1-1-0)  3.24GAA  .863%SP  1 SO

Wild Injuries (current):

Mike Rupp (knee)

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Los Angeles Kings (0-0-0)  Pacific

Top 5 Scorers (2012-13):

1. #11 Anze Kopitar ~ 10G 32A = 42pts

2. #77 Jeff Carter ~ 26G 7A = 33pts

3. #14 Justin Williams ~ 11G 22A = 33pts

4. #10 Mike Richards ~ 12G 20A = 32pts

5. #23 Dustin Brown ~ 18G 11A = 29pts

Top 3 PIM's (2012-13):

1. #13 Kyle Clifford ~ 51 PIM's

2. #71 Jordan Nolan ~ 46 PIM's

3. #10 Mike Richards ~ 42 PIM's

Top Goaltenders (2012-13):

1. #32 Jonathan Quick (18-13-4)  2.45GAA  .902%SP  1 SO

Kings' Injuries (current):

Dustin Brown (hamstring), Robyn Regehr (elbow), Jake Muzzin (knee), Willie Mitchell (knee)

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Mikko Koivu

 

I'm still adjusting to the fact that this season is starting on time.  Even better, is the only major debate heading into the regular season is whether or not we were going to have hybrid icing or regular icing (in case you missed it, it's going to be hybrid for the season).  For now, I'm going to live in this happy bubble and enjoy hockey, because if we've learned anything over the past 10-15 years, we know there will be another lockout when it's time to negotiate the next collective bargaining agreement.  Bitter maybe.  Truthful, yes.

The best part of regular season hockey is that as a Wild fan, we can finally watch the game on television.  I can't tell you how frustrating it was to see the same five or six teams during pre-season.  And what was even more sickening, is that they seemed to be matchups between predominantly Eastern Conference teams.   Why shouldn't those of us out West see our teams during pre-season?  Since the games were national broadcasts, it would have been a fantastic way to show off the new divisions.  But no, we had to continually watch the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Sidney Crosby may be a good player, but he's no longer a teenage phenom, so his story is no longer special.  Dear NHL, please find a new golden boy.

As the Minnesota Wild's 2013-14 campaign officially starts tonight, let's hope it starts out on the right foot.  Tonight could easily set the tone for the season.  All one can hope is that they're at least competitive.  I know I have some concerns.  Of course topping the list is scoring.  Even when Minnesota adds offensive power, it rarely adds goals, and it doesn't matter who is behind the bench.  It sometimes feels like they're afraid to shoot therefore afraid to score goals.  Not a great recipe for success.  The other big concern comes with goaltending.  I'm not starstruck by goaltenders in general, but when you have Niklas Backstrom and you're never sure if he'll be on his game or not and Josh Harding who will battle muscular sclerosis the rest of his life, it's a big concern.  

I know this is going to come off as possible crazy talk, considering what I said earlier, I just wish this game wasn't being broadcast nationally.  The difference is this.  I would have liked the chance to see prospects and try out players on the ice.  Knowing tonight's roster as we all do, I'm just afraid that they'll fall down and not be able to get back up.  It's that fear that makes me hesitant to watch on the NBC Sports channel.  Or at the very least, I would have liked Minnesota to have a few games under their belt before their national debut for the season.  Unfortunately that is not the cast, and we'll simply have to hope for the best.

So the new year is here.  Here's to a steady year and not the roller coaster ride that we've experienced that past few years.

Wild Lines

Forwards ~ LW-C-RW:

Parise-Koivu-Pominville

Niederreiter-Coyle-Heatley

Cooke-Brodziak-Granlund

Fontaine-Konopka-Mitchell

Defense:

Suter-Brodin

Scandella-Spurgeon

Ballard-Stoner

Goaltender:

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

Jack Jablonski & Jenna Privette

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