The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game #49: Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton 1/16/2014 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild (25-19-5)  55pts  4th in the Central

2.29 Goals For (27th)

2.41 Goals Against (10th)

19.1% Power Play (11th)

79.2% Penalty Kill (24th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #29 Jason Pominville ~ 18G 13A = 31pts

2. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 5G 25A = 30pts

3. #22 Nino Niederreiter ~ 9G 16A = 25pts

4. #24 Matt Cooke ~ 6G 13A = 19pts

5. #64 Mikael Granlund ~ 3G 16A = 19pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 46 PIMs

2. #2 Keith Ballard ~ 31 PIMs

3. #24 Matt Cooke ~ 30 PIMs

Top Goaltenders:

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

2. #32 Niklas Backstrom ~ (5-10-2)   3.02GAA   .899SV%

3. #35 Darcy Kuemper ~ (2-2-0)   2.46GAA   .910SV%






Edmonton Oilers (15-29-5)  35pts  7th in the Pacific

2.57 Goals For (18th)

3.51 Goals Against (30th)

18.4% Power Play (18th)

79.6% Penalty Kill (21st)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #4 Taylor Hall ~ 18G 27A = 45pts

2. #14 Jordan Eberle ~ 14G 23A = 37pts

3. #93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ~ 13G 23A = 36pts

4. #57 David Perron ~ 17G 17A = 34pts

5. #83 Ales Hemsky ~ 7G 17A = 24pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #20 Luke Gazdik ~ 78 PIMs

2. #21 Andrew Ference ~ 49 PIMs

3. #57 David Perron ~ 44 PIMs

Top Goaltenders:

1. #80 Ilya Bryzgalov ~ (3-7-2)   3.27GAA   .902SV%

2. #30 Ben Scrivens ~ (7-5-4)   3.28GAA   .870SV%.   931SV%

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Nate Prosser


Well I think I understand Tuesday's result.  Why we looked lethargic and didn't know what we're doing.  And the fact that I now know the reason, it ticks me off.  And while the Wild have in general been playing better, it makes me question the coaching decisions of head coach, Mike Yeo even more. You see dear readers, the Minnesota Wild have not had a full practice in a week.  Yes, you read that correctly, a full week.  So they've just had their morning skates on game days and then played games.  I know if I've left work for vacation, it's hard to get back into the flow those first few days of work.  Another comparison would take me back to my college days.  We never had a concert without going a full week without a full rehearsal.  Sure, we would be in a practice room working on our individual parts, but that's just it.  Practicing on your own you only work on your own part.  It's those full rehearsals where you figure out where your own part fits in.  Same goes for hockey.  The players can skate, and work on shooting by themselves.  However, not having a full practice the Wild skaters can then look a little lost.  Which is exactly what they looked like on Tuesday night.

Having played not so well against the Ottawa Senators, who are essentially all over the map when it comes to their own success, we once again face potential disappointment.  Tonight, it's the Edmonton Oilers, a team we haven't faced yet this year.  It's also the first time we play them when we're no longer divisional foes.  In the Wild's history, we've faced two different Oilers.  Once upon a time, there was an Oilers team that Minnesota just could not beat.  Things have changed, and in years past, a game against Edmonton was pretty much a guaranteed win.  But by no means am I going to even say that Minnesota has a great chance tonight.  In a normal world, they would have a great chance at a win tonight.  However, this year's Minnesota Wild cannot be predicted.  And it doesn't matter that Edmonton is have yet again another stinky, first overall pick, kind of season.  But since we can't depend on the Wild to play competitively on a consistent basis, we could easily be looking at another disappointment.

Regardless of tonight's outcome, I know as fans of Minnesota hockey, we're heading into a fantastic weekend.  With Saturday being Hockey Day Minnesota, we're looking forward to pretty much non-stop hockey on Saturday.  Even better, we're heading up to my husband's hometown of Elk River, Minnesota where this year's festivities are taking place.  If you live in the Twin Cities Metro and you have no plans for the weekend, I highly suggest you hop on 94, 10 or 169 (or whatever backroad you take) to the northwest metro.  The Handke Pit in Elk River is a classic, outdoor rink.  It's the kind of location that should have been immortalized by Norman Rockwell on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post.  As an community that in recent years has felt more and more suburban, The Pit lets people think back to when Elk River was a small town that just happened to be located between Minneapolis and St. Cloud.  Now, getting to The Pit will be a bit of a challenge.  It's my understanding that parking will be at the Elk River High School on School Street, and buses will transport people to The Pit, which is in more of a residential neighborhood.  So while traffic will be insane, it's going to be a great event.  And an event that the people involved with Elk River hockey have been working so hard to bring to fruition.

See, I'm not even thinking or really even caring about tonight's game.  Saturday has become far more important than tonight. And I bet every team participating in Hockey Day Minnesota have had several full practices in the past week.  Such a novel concept.


Jack Jablonski & Jenna Privette