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The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game #28: Minnesota Wild vs. Philadelphia 12/2/2013 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild (15-8-5) 35pts  4th in the Central 

2.32 Goals For (23rd)

2.Goals Against (8th)

20.6% Power Play (8th)

78.5% Penalty Kill (25th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 11G 12A = 23pts

2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 6G 16A = 22pts

3. #29 Jason Pominville ~ 13G 5A = 18pts

4. #22 Nino Niederreiter ~ 5G 10A = 15pts

5. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 0G 15A = 15pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 37 PIM's

2. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 29 PIM's

3. #39 Nate Prosser ~ 19 PIM's

Top Goaltenders:

1. #37 Josh Harding (13-4-3)  1.52GAA  .936%SP  2SO

2. #32 Niklas Backstrom (2-3-2)  2.77GAA  .896%SP

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Philadelphia Flyers (12-12-2)  26pts  5th in the Metropolitan

2.15 Goals For (27th)

2.38 Goals Against (10th)

15.2% Power Play (23rd)

83.3% Penalty Kill (15th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #28 Claude Giroux ~ 4G 14A = 18pts

2. #10 Brayden Schenn ~ 7G 8A = 15pts

3. #40 Vincent Lecavalier ~ 9G 5A = 14pts

4. #17 Wayne Simmonds ~ 5G 7A = 12pts

5. #93 Jakub Voracek ~ 3G 9A = 12pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #36 Zac Rinaldo ~ 48 PIM's

2. #17 Wayne Simmonds ~ 45 PIM's

3. #37 Jay Rosehill ~ 37 PIM's

Top Goaltenders:

1. #35 Steve Mason (9-8-2)  2.09GAA  .934%SP  1SO

2. #29 Ray Emery (3-4-0)  2.60GAA  .910%SP  1SO

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Scott Hartnell

 

If any of you happened to read my "I'm thankful for…" list for Friday's game, you'll notice today is focusing on one of those things.  It's been a rough few games for Wild players and fans alike.  While I'm most likely in the "Negative Nelly" camp for fans who think it's going to be at best a 50-50 chance the Wild make the playoffs, I can still see positives about this team.  At the very least, Saturday's game in Colorado felt like a return of the Wild team I've come to expect, and I'll get to that later.

Do you remember how I mentioned that I was thankful that the Wild still had nineteen games remaining against the Eastern Conference?  Well as you can clearly see, tonight is one of those nights.  All it might take to get the Minnesota Wild back on track, is a win tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers.  However, it's not going to be easy.  All one needs to know is that Philadelphia has a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games, and have won their past two games.  The Wild on the other hand are 5-4-1, with majority of those losses coming toward the end of those ten games.  And hopefully whatever skills they use to get back on track, they can find a way to translate a (hopeful) win tonight to wins in the Central Division.

Yet, if Minnesota really wants to take a stand, they need to do so from the beginning of the game, instead of waiting until near the end of the game to make a push to get back into the game.  The vast majority of games only have sixty minutes to work with, and it's foolish to hope that they can tie up the game if they've fallen behind earlier in the game.  Plus, I have to wonder if we need to remind the players that once we head into overtime, it only takes one goal.  Not only does it take but one goal, there's absolutely no guarantee it's going to come from the Wild.  And if that same game heads to a shootout, it ultimately becomes a goaltender showdown.  While we need Minnesota to play a full sixty minutes, what was nice about Saturday's game is that we saw a Minnesota team claw its way back into the game.  We've had several games this season that they had no business winning, but did because they found ways to win.  Sometimes it just takes that one goal, much like Matt Cooke's on Saturday to say "we're not out this game yet."  That one goal became two and then took us ultimately to the shootout.  While it's great to see that kind of determination, I'd rather see more determination from the first drop of the puck. 

So here's to turning things around.  Here's to playing a full sixty minutes of hockey.  Here's to watching winning hockey once again.

 

Jack Jablonski & Jenna Privette