Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings 4/5/18 @ 9:30PM at Staples Center

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings 4/5/18 @ 9:30PM at Staples Center

Wild

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings 4/5/18 @ 9:30PM at Staples Center

Minnesota Wild (44-26-10)  98pts  3rd in the Central

3.00 Goals For Per Game (13th in the NHL)

2.76 Goals Against Per Game (11th in the NHL)

20.6% Power Play (15th in the NHL)

81.1% Penalty Kill (13th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #12 Eric Staal ~ 40G 34A = 74pts

2. #64 Mikael Granlund ~ 20G 44A = 64pts

3. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 31G 31A = 62pts

4. #24 Matt Dumba ~ 13G 34A = 47pts

5. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 14G 28A = 42pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #17 Marcus Foligno ~ 66 PIM’s

2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 44 PIM’s

3. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 44 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (34-16-7)  2.51GAA  .918%SP  5SO

2. #32 Alex Stalock (10-10-3)  2.76GAA  .913%SP  1SO

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Los Angeles Kings (44-28-8)  96pts 4th in the Pacific

2.88 Goals For Per Game (16th in the NHL)

2.42 Goals Against Per Game (1st in the NHL)

20.8% Power Play (14th in the NHL)

84.9% Penalty Kill (2nd in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #11 Anze Kopitar ~ 35G 56A = 91pts

2. #8 Drew Doughty ~ 10G 49A = 59pts

3. #23 Dustin Brown ~ 24G 33A = 57pts

4. #73 Tyler Toffoli ~ 24G 22A = 46pts

5. #70 Tanner Pearson ~ 15G 23A = 38pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #23 Dustin Brown ~ 58 PIM’s

2. #8 Drew Doughty ~ 52 PIM’s

3. #24 Derek Forbort ~ 49 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #32 Jonathan Quick (32-27-3)  2.34GAA  .924%SP  5SO

2. #1 Jack Campbell (2-0-2)  2.48GAA  .924%SP

Lines:

Los Angeles Kings

Pearson~Kopitar~Brown

Reider~Carter~Toffoli

Clifford~Kempe~Lewis

Thompson~Amadio~Mitchell

Forbort~Doughty

Martinez~Folin

Phaneuf~LaDue

Quick

Campbell

Minnesota Wild

Parise~Koivu~Granlund

Zucker~Staal~Niederreiter

Greenway~Cullen~Coyle

Foligno~Eriksson Ek~Winnik

Brodin~Dumba

Seeler~Muprhy

Soucy~Prosser

Dubnyk

Stalock

The one thing about West Coast games, is for the most part you can watch your normal shows in prime time. You can also watch random movies while waiting for your obscenely late game to start. Last night, we were trying to find something to watch to fill the time between getting home from work and the game. Flipping through the channels last night, we ended up finding For Your Eyes Onlyone of the Roger Moore James Bond movies. We happened to catch it not at the beginning and just before the world’s most ridiculous interpretations of a hockey fight ever seen whether in a real hockey game or in a movie/television interpretation. Who knew all it took to finish off your opponent was to toss them into the goal? Of course the part that took the absolute cake is when Bond hopped aboard the Zamboni, and ran over the last fighter and knocked him into the goal. The kicker is that person seemed to not notice the Zamboni. Clearly this scene was devised by someone who has never been around hockey, because it’s kind of hard to not notice a Zamboni and be unable to avoid it. But there are times where the ridiculous provides great amusement, and this particular scene provided great amusement while waiting for last night’s game to start.

I’m going to admit, part of me is tempted to skip tonight’s game and get some extra sleep. It’s not like I’ll miss much. The Wild are already guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, and not only are they guaranteed a spot, they have locked down that third place spot in the Central Division. So as a Wild fan, it’s not a mission critical game. However, it will be interesting to watch this game from the viewpoint of the opponent. Now like the Wild, the Los Angeles Kings have a spot in the playoffs, but their exact spot is not cemented yet. Before last night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, the Kings were in possession of the third spot in the Pacific Division. With Anaheim’s win against Minnesota, the Ducks took over that third spot and put the Kings back into the first wild card spot. Los Angeles would like to get that third spot back again. And because of that, this is probably going to be another “one of those games” for the Wild.

Now, I’m going to take a couple of stands here. First off, I can’t complain too much about how the Wild have played without Ryan Suter. So far, they’ve demonstrated that the other defensemen can compensate for the vast amounts of ice time that Suter logs. That right there should say to the General Manager, coaches, and Suter himself that we don’t need him to play as many minutes as he does. He doesn’t have to carry the team on his shoulders. To a degree though, we will probably miss how he’s able to control the puck and maintain the zone in the long run. Now the other stand that needs to be taken is in regards to Devan Dubnyk. I wish he would focus on himself and try to be better. Instead, he’s going for a best actor nomination several times a game. There as absolutely no reason for the Ducks’ first goal last night to be reviewed. He needs to accept the fact that he’s not invincible. Pucks are going to get past him. With the way this team continually loses its coach’s challenges, we begin to look like fools. Yes, Dubnyk has a right his crease, yet there’s going to be some contact with other players in that space. Minor contact is going to happen. Accept it and either stay on your feet or quickly get back to your feet. I mean there are nights where Dubnyk’s antics remind me of Fergus, our beloved Basset hound that Derek and I had a few years ago. His version of the “sob story” would be when he was taken to the groomer or the vet and it was time for the trimming of his claws. You would think they were torturing him by the “aria” that was coming from the service areas. And then the groomer or vet would give him a treat. Children do the same thing when they don’t get their way. Smart parents know that they’re being played and ignore the behavior so it stops. Seriously Dubnyk, don’t cry wolf.

If I have to stay up as late as I do for this game, I at least hope it’s at least an entertaining as the crazy scene from For Your Eyes Only. However, being that tonight is the second night of a back-to-back and on the road, I can’t make that promise. Most likely, we’re going to see the team take the night off and try not to get anyone injured.

 

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