Quantcast
The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
2017 NHL Playoffs: Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues 4/22/17 @ 2:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Blues Lead Series 3-1

Minnesota Wild

1.25 Goals For Per Game (15th in the NHL Playoffs)

1.75 Goals Against Per Game (3rd in the NHL Playoffs)

8.3% Power Play (15th in the NHL Playoffs)

90.9% Penalty Kill (3rd in the NHL Playoffs)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 2G 1A = 3pts

2. #3 Charlie Coyle ~ 2G 0A = 2pts

3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 0G 2A = 2pts

4. #19 Martin Hanzal ~ 1G 0A = 1pt

5. #12 Eric Staal ~ 0G 1A = 1pt

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 10 PIM’s

2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 6 PIM’s

3. #21 Ryan White ~ 4 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (1-3)  1.42GAA  .943%SP  1SO

2. #32 Alex Stalock N/A

 

 

Vs.

 

 

St. Louis Blues

1.75 Goals For Per Game (14th in the NHL Playoffs)

1.25 Goals Against Per Game (2nd in the NHL Playoffs)

9.1% Power Play (14th in the NHL Playoffs)

91.7% Penalty Kill (2nd in the NHL Playoffs)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #17 Jaden Schwartz ~ 2G 1A = 3pts

2. #20 Alexander Steen ~ 1G 2A = 3pts

3. #21 Patrik Berglund ~ 0G 3A = 3pts

4. #6 Joel Edmundson ~ 0G 2A = 2pts

5. #71 Vladimir Sobotka ~ 1G 1A = 2pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #10 Scottie Upshall ~ 6 PIM’s

2. #6 Joel Edmundson ~ 6 PIM’s

3. #41 Robert Bortuzzo ~ 4 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #34 Jake Allen (3-1-0)  1.17GAA  .966%SP

2. #40 Carter Hutton N/A

Lines:

St. Louis Blues

Schwartz~Barbashev~Tarasenko

Sobotka~Steen~Sanford

Paajarvi~Berglund~Perron

Upshall~Brodziak~Reaves

Bouwmeester~Pietrangelo

Edmundson~Parayko

Gunnarsson~Bortuzzo

Allen

Hutton

Minnesota Wild

 

Well it’s put up or shut up time for the Minnesota Wild. Sure, you could say the same thing about Wednesday’s game, however that was more of a “stop the bleeding” game. Minnesota had  to win in order to come back to Saint Paul. They of course have to win again today in order to extend this series. But the difference today is that they know they can win, that it’s possible. They also know what it’s going to take to turn this series around. The Wild certainly haven’t made things easy for themselves, and it’s going to be an uphill battle. For most teams and their fans, to be down 3-0 or 3-1 in a playoff series will feel overwhelming. However, if you’ve followed the Minnesota Wild from the very beginning of its existence, you’ve been here before. But when you compare the teams, you really can’t compare them. To say this year’s team is vastly superior to the 2003 team is beyond obvious. But I think that lack of talent worked in 2003’s favor. No one, but perhaps Jacques Lemaire, took that team seriously. From opposing fans, to broadcasters, to the opposition itself thought they could pull off one game win let alone a series win. Especially when they found themselves down 3-1. Now the more talented team has to figure out how to overcome a 3-1 deficit.

The team got Thursday off, but then it was back to work on Friday. Bruce Boudreau spent very little time relishing in the afterglow of Wednesday’s win. There’s still a lot of work to be done, and it’s up to the players to do that work. Boudreau has stated that there are 20 players on this team that have to play better. It can’t just be a few players to play better. It’s the entire team that has to give 200%. I’m not quite sure at this point if we’ll see that kind of effort from everyone. Throughout March, we saw a tired team. They pretty much knew they were going to the playoffs, but the effort just wasn’t there. It’s as if they decided to “rest up” for the playoffs. However, I don’t know if they can get back into prime mode like they were in December, January, and February. Yet it’s that prime mode that we need now. If they can’t find that prime mode, this series will end sooner rather than later.

The team made an interesting move. They have recalled just over a dozen players from the Iowa Wild. These are player like Mike Reilly, Gustav Olofsson, and Alex Tuch. This group of players will be practicing on their own, but will be available to play if needed. With player like Erik Haula being a bit banged up, and Saint Louis willing to play the physical game that at times can border on cheap, you need to have extra players available. Joining the group of extra hands are Luke Kunin, and Carson Soucy. They are ineligible to play during the playoffs, but this time will be valuable to their development. You want to get young players around the NHL playoffs. You hope that it makes them hungry to be with the big club and to be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It also gives them extra time to build their chemistry with their fellow Iowa Wild players. It helps them to be comfortable with their teammates in both Iowa and then when they all make their move to Minnesota. And hopefully, the presence of the extra bodies in Saint Paul inspires the current Minnesota Wild to get their butts in gear, knowing there are people who are ready to jump into battle.

I’m trying hard to believe in this team. I want them to stand up and say “we’re not ready to go home just yet.” I know they have the ability to fight back. Well at least they did earlier in the season. And if there was ever a season for this team to make it to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, this would be the season. For the first time in what seems like forever, the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t waiting in the wings. Of course, this would be the season where the Wild would also fail to advance. Today is the day to take a stand. We’ll see if they’re able to step up to the plate.