Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche 2/14/2013 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild (6-6-1)  13pts  (2nd in the Northwest)

1.92 Goals For per game (29th in the NHL)

2.46 Goals Against per game (9th in the NHL)

21st ranked Power Play (16%)

7th ranked Penalty Kill (84.4%)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 6G 4A = 10pts

2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 2G 7A = 9pts

3. #77 Tom Gilbert ~ 3G 4A = 7pts

4. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 0G 7A = 7pts

5. #15 Dany Heatley ~ 4G 2A = 6pts

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 50 PIM's

2. #27 Mike Rupp ~ 12 PIM's

3. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 10 PIM's

Top Goaltender(s):

1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (5-4-1)  2.35GAA  .913%SP

2. #37 Josh Harding (1-1-0)  2.92GAA  .885%SP  1SO

3. #35 Darcy Kuemper (0-1-0)  2.03GAA  .933%SP

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Colorado Avalanche (4-6-1)  9pts  (5th in the Northwest)

2.09 Goals For per game (28th in the NHL)

2.67 Goals Against per game (15th in the NHL)

30th ranked Power Play (8.1%)

19th ranked Penalty Kill (80%)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #15 P.A. Parenteau ~ 7G 3A = 10pts

2. #9  Matt Duchene ~ 3G 7A = 10pts

3. #7 John Mitchell ~ 4G 3A = 7pts

4. #26 Paul Stastny ~ 3G 3A = 6pts

5. #11 Jamie McGinn ~ 1G 5A = 6pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #55 Cody McLeod ~ 37 PIM's

2. #58 Patrick Bordeleau ~ 35 PIM's

3. #3 Ryan O'Byrne ~ 29 PIM's

Top Goaltender(s):

1. #1 Semyon Varlamov (3-6-1)  2.58GAA  .909%SP  1SO

2. #35 Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1-0-0)  2.25GAA  .933%SP

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Zach Parise

 

For those of you in love with love, Happy Valentine's Day.  For the more cynical, Happy Greeting Card Industry Day.  For myself, I fall somewhere in between the two philosophies.  Love is great, but if you have to depend on one day, your love life probably isn't going to be that successful or meaningful.  I really hate watching television during the month of February, because of all the jewelry and flower commercials.  However, I'd be lying to you if I said I hate to receive jewelry and flowers.  Plus the movies shown during this month, tend to be of the sappy, sentimental variety.  Yet, if we're smart, we see far more ideal love stories among our friends and family.  And by 'ideal' I don't mean perfect.  Perfection doesn't exist.  But how those couples deal with adversity in their relationship is what makes them role models for the rest of us.

Wild fans received an early Valentine yesterday.  Not only did former Wild winger and fan-favorite, Andrew Brunette, announce his retirement, but the MInnesota Wild announced that they have hired him as a hockey operations advisor.  His role will have him working with Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher.  His duties will have him working closely with various departments within the organization, but mostly with free agent scouting and Wild prospect evaluation.  Personally, I think Brunette will excel in this role.  He's played against many of the current NHL'ers, so that becomes a valuable insight when looking at free agents.  The same goes for prospect evaluation.  He personally knows what it takes to play in the National Hockey League.  But even better, he can serve as a mentor to these young men.  Even better, I feel he knows the heart of this team, which with a currently struggling team, it's important that someone knows what this team is about.  While he wasn't a member of the inaugural team, he joined during the first off-season.  He was with this team during the Cinderella playoff run in the 2002-03 season, and he's been with the team during the lean years. 

Yes, the Wild have a relatively short history in the league.  While I question decisions this team makes, I truly appreciate that they're bringing in former players in certain areas of the organization.  Darby Hendrickson is on the bench as an assistant coach.  Now, he's probably not my first choice, but he too was here in the lean days, and knows what it takes to overcome the challenges.  Now while not part of the organization per se, having Wes Walz on the Fox Sports-North crew is fantastic.  Walz was never one to sugar-coat how things were going during his playing days.  During intermission interviews when he was playing, he gave honest answers.  And even now in his broadcasting role, he's still honest with fans.  Personally, I wish that Hendrickson and Walz would have their roles switched, but that's not my decision.  Now, if we could bring in Walz, Hendrickson, and Brunette's former head coach, we might just be getting somewhere.

The Wild organization are giving the fans a beautiful red rose just prior to the start of the game tonight.  To celebrate Brunette's career with the Wild and his new role, he will be performing the ceremonial puck drop tonight.  It's up to the team, if we get the full dozen of longstem roses of a victory.

 

 

Jack Jablonski & Jenna Privette

About Derek Felska

I am a lifelong hockey fan from Minnesota who loves and appreciates the game at all levels. I have been blogging about the Minnesota Wild since 2005. I cover just about every aspect of the organization from the team itself, its coaches, its management, its broadcast as well as its AHL affiliate the Iowa Wild and the club's pool of prospects. In addition to the NHL I occasionally take the time to cover college and high school hockey as well. We are the State of Hockey and I want to make this blog informative and objective from the eyes of a fan. I am a fan of the Minnesota Wild, but I am no homer. I hope what you read reflects this approach!

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