Game #60: Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers 2/27/2014 @ 8:30PM CST at Rexall Place

Minnesota Wild (31-21-7)  69pts  4th in the Central

2.36 Goals For (25th)

2.42 Goals Against (9th)

18.3% Power Play (16th)

80.6% Penalty Kill (22nd)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #29 Jason Pominville ~ 22G 18A = 40pts

2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 19G 17A = 36pts

3. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 8G 27A = 35pts

4. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 6G 27A = 33pts

5. #22 Nino Niederreiter ~ 11G 19A = 29pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 69 PIM's

2. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 55 PIM's

3. #24 Matt Cooke ~ 50 PIM's

Top Goaltenders:

1. #37 Josh Harding (18-7-3)  1.65GAA  .933%SP  3SO

2. #35 Darcy Kuemper (8-3-2)  2.46GAA  .917%SP  1SO

3. #32 Niklas Backstrom (5-11-2)  3.02GAA  .899%SP

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Edmonton Oilers (20-33-7)  47pts  7th in the Pacific

2.52 Goals For (20th)

3.28 Goals Against (30th)

16.9% Power Play (21st)

81.3% Penalty Kill (18th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #4 Taylor Hall ~ 20G 36A = 56pts

2. #14 Jordan Eberle ~ 19G 26A = 45pts

3. #93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ~ 15G 28A = 43pts

4. #57 David Perron ~ 22G 20A = 42pts

5. #19 Justin Schultz ~ 8G 16A = 24pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #20 Luke Gazdic ~ 83 PIM's

2. #57 David Perron ~ 54 PIM's

3. #21 Andrew Ference ~ 51 PIM's

Top Goaltenders:

1. #30 Ben Scrivens (3-3-0)  2.01GAA  .948%SP  1SO

2. #80 Ilya Bryzgalov (5-8-4)  3.08GAA  .907%SP  1SO

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Ben Scrivens

 

Welcome back (again) dear readers. With those words, I suddenly have that classic hit by John Sebastian in my head.  With it stuck in my head, I'll spare you the same by not mentioning the song by name.  Of course, you probably have to be a reader of a certain age to even know what song I'm talking about.  Life is good…I've just aged myself.  However, let me say this, it's a song when songs were decent, as opposed to the hipster/teen garbage that gets put out on a regular basis.  If you don't understand what I'm talking about, simply head over to YouTube and watch videos by either Rob Paravonian or the Australian group Axis of Awesome, and you'll know what I'm talking about.

However, with that mini-rant out of the way, I'm happy to say this hockey season can once again start.  It's bad enough when the league takes its All-Star break, but at least that break is only a long weekend.  The Olympic Break on the other hand is a completely different beast.  It has been twenty-one days since the Minnesota Wild last played a game.  Every team in the league is looking at a similar number of days since they played, give or take a day or two.  Regardless of the exact number of days, the National Hockey League is running about three weeks behind schedule.  In order to make up those weeks, we're going to see a lot of games crammed in, and more back-to-back games.  For diehard fans, this means a lot of nights staying up watching games when they may need to go to bed early.  For players, it means like they're going to be enduring a lot more strain on their bodies, with less time to recuperate from any bumps and bruises.  While teams make the push for the playoffs, you're going to see more players pushing their bodies to the limits.  I won't be surprised if we see more injuries than we've already seen.  With the NHL Trade Deadline right around the corner, those injuries are going to make things interesting for those teams in the playoffs.  Some players are going to be playing hurt.  Other teams are going to be recalling and reassigning players from their American Hockey League affiliate, which of course will force those teams to do the same by calling up and reassigning players to their East Coast Hockey League affiliate.  It's going to be messy and it's going to be chaotic.  And it will definitely even out the playing field when everyone is banged up at the end of March, and the playoff picture isn't completely figured out yet.

Minnesota needs to concentrate not just on the flurry of games, but the points they can stand to make up in the standings as well.  A great way to gain ground, is to take advantage of teams like the Edmonton Oilers.  Grabbing these two points would be an excellent way to start after the Olympic break.  It's sad to see just how anemic our goal scorers are when it comes to scoring.  It should make you feel even worse when you compare our top five scorers to Edmonton's.  They have players who can and do score.  The main problem (and there are many) with Edmonton, is that they simply cannot stop their opposition from scoring.  With Minnesota's almost inability to score, a game against the Oilers just could make the Wild look like a scoring powerhouse.  While I'm trying to picture that in my mind, my subconscious keeps whispering "but this is the Wild we're talking about."  Too bad Minnesota's history tends to rain on my daydreams.  So perhaps I'll have to be happy with a low-scoring game where Minnesota just happens to score just one or two more on Edmonton.  Of course, that will make the Edmonton media just giddy with glee.

So here's the "second half" of the season.  The part of the season that is pretty much the make it break it part.  If the Wild don't come out strong in tonight's game, and the next five or so games, we might as well say buh-bye to any playoff hopes, as opposed to Welcome Back. 

 

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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