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Game #76: Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings @ 9:00PM CST at Staples Center

Minnesota Wild (38-26-11)  87pts  4th in the Central

2.39 Goals For (27th)

2.43 Goals Against (6th)

17.9% Power Play (16th)

79% Penalty Kill (27th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #29 Jason Pominville ~ 27G 25A = 52pts

2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 27G 22A = 49pts

3. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 9G 38A = 47pts

4. #26 Matt Moulson ~ 21G 25A = 46pts

5. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 7G 34A = 41pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #21 Kyle Brodziak ~ 59 PIM’s

2. #39 Nate Prosser ~ 56 PIM’s

3. #24 Matt Cooke ~ 52 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #35 Darcy Kuemper (12-8-4)  2.43GAA  .915%SP  2SO

2. #30 Ilya Bryzgalov (8-8-7)  2.83GAA  .909%SP  2SO

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Los Angeles Kings (44-25-6)  94pts  3rd in the Pacific

2.41 Goals For (24th)

2.07 Goals Against (2nd)

15.2 % Power Play (26th)

83.3% Penalty Kill (12th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #11 Anze Kopitar ~ 24G 38A = 62pts

2. #77 Jeff Carter ~ 26G 21A = 47pts

3. #10 Mike Richards ~ 11G 30A = 41pts

4. #14 Justin Williams ~ 18G 20A = 38pts

5. #8 Drew Doughty ~ 9G 27A = 36pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #13 Kyle Clifford ~ 81 PIM’s

2. #8 Drew Doughty ~ 64 PIM’s

3. #23 Dustin Brown ~ 58 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #32 Jonathon Quick (26-15-2)  2.06GAA  .916%SP  5SO

2. #31 Martin Jones (11-5-0)  1.91GAA  .933%SP  3SO

Charlie Coyle protects the puck from Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty

 

If you’re like me, you’re still probably a bit shocked by the Wild’s amazing third period comeback on Saturday night.  I don’t really know what changed in the team’s mentality, but whatever it was, I’ll take it.  If it was head coach Mike Yeo, finally giving the team a talking to during one of the intermissions, or the veteran leadership saying “we’re not going to take this anymore” or the ‘kids’ saying “hey, let’s make a statement” I hope they simply keep doing it.  Tonight of course would be another great opportunity to do whatever it was again.

Of course tonight’s game will be another test to whether this version of the Minnesota Wild can withstand the test their opposition will bring.  For the most part, the teams the Wild will face will either be teams looking to cement their playoff positioning or jostle for Wild Card spots.  Of course there are the two danger games against the Jets and Predators, and they will definitely look to play spoiler.  I, like many fans, will most likely watch tonight from behind splayed fingers.  All I can hope for is that Saturday night’s major step forward doesn’t result in five steps back tonight.

Interestingly enough, it seems that it was the players who were ultimately responsible for Saturday’s rally.  On Friday, the players were required to take the day off.  While they weren’t allowed to practice, it didn’t prevent the team leaders from meeting with each player individually and then have a player’s only meeting after dinner on Friday night.  All reports indicate that it was team leadership that kept the Wild together Saturday night.  It seems it was during the second intermission that they pulled everyone together yet again.  As fans we often question the ability of the coaching staff to rally troops, so at least the players can step in when it really matters.  Now we just have to hope that fight back mentality can continue for the rest of the season.  We’re definitely going to require the players to stand strong.

It is clear that the Wild’s mantra should be stand strong, never say never, and never stop working.  If they can do that, we stand a chance tonight.  And for now, tonight is all we can focus on.

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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