The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game #67: Minnesota Wild vs Colorado, Tuesday March 6th, 2012 at 8:00pm (CST), Pepsi Center [GAME PREVIEW]

Record Pts Div. Rank G/G GA/G PP% PK%
Minnesota Wild (28-28-10) 66 4th Northwest 2.08 (30) 2.61 (11) 15.0% (26)

82.4% (12)

Colorado Avalanche
(34-29-4) 72 2nd Northwest 2.45 (23) 2.67 (16) 18.4% (11) 82.0% (16)


Minnesota Wild
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #15 Dany Heatley 20 26 46
2. #9 Mikko Koivu 10 27 37
3. #7 Matt Cullen 14 19 33
4. #21 Kyle Brodziak 16 16 32
5. #10 Devin Setoguchi 16 12 28
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #22 Cal Clutterbuck 95
2. #4 Clayton Stoner 47
3. #26 Matt Kassian 45
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (17-17-6) 2.44 .920
2. #37 Josh Harding (9-10-4) 2.78 .912
3. #31 Matt Hackett (2-1-0) 0.96 .971
Colorado Avalanche
Top 5 Scorers: G A Pts
1. #37 Ryan O’Reilly 16 34 50
2. #92 Gabriel Landeskog 18 23 41
3. #26 Paul Stastny 16 25 41
4. #27 Steve Downie 14 21 35
5. #23 Milan Hejduk 13 21 34
Top 3 Penalty Minutes: PIM
1. #55 Cody McLeod 143
2. #27 Steve Downie 127
3. #5 Shane O’Brien 87
Goaltenders: GAA SV%
1. #1 Semyon Varlamov (19-19-2) 2.69 .909
2. #35 Jean-Sebastien Giguere (15-10-2) 2.23 .920
. .


Just yesterday, the topic came up on the Wild message boards.  The question was what is next years roster going to look like and are any of the current roster are untouchable.  Of course it raises some interesting discussion.  However before we get to that discussion, I’d like to point out the very obvious albatross in the room.  That being, we the fans have already chalked up this season as a lost cause, and that it’s time to move on to next season.  We’re not even really bothering to talk about what is going wrong now, we’re looking forward to improving for next season.

Now, on to those untouchable players.  I don’t know about you, but I seriously I don’t view one player on this roster as being untouchable.  I’m not a sentimental fan.  I want success on the ice and go to the post-season, with the ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup.  When you’re sentimental about the team, you are going to be stuck in a rut of mediocrity.  If Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher can get the right price (meaning players, prospects or draft picks) back in return, each and every player can and should be dealt.  And yes, that even means Mikko Koivu.  I know there are plenty of fans out there that would tell me that I’m crazy or that I’m not really a true fan.  I would disagree wholeheartedly with both of those opinions.  If another team approached Fletcher for Koivu and was willing to pay for him, Fletcher would be crazy to not consider it.  Unfortunately, I think Fletcher is going to be more cautious as their were quite a few fans who were upset that players like Brent Burns and Nick Schultz were dealt.  Fans get attached to players, and since fans are the ones buying tickets and merchandise, he’ll weigh that into the equation.  And since many expect that Wild 2010 draft pick, Mikael Granlund will be in North America next season, even I realize that Koivu will still be here next season.

Beyond Koivu (who I still believe could be moved for the right place), there is not one player who should think they are safe.  Some fans think that we should keep our centers, and then shop from there.  Then there are those who want to keep much of what we have and tweak it just slightly.  These are often the same fans who think we’ll be able to acquire both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter when free agency opens up.  Don’t get me wrong, it would be a major coup were that to happen, but I honestly don’t see it happen.  We’d be darn lucky if we managed to get one of them.  And let’s just say of the two, the Wild definitely need the help on the blue line.  Sure, scoring is important (and with the Wild, that has always been a problem), but right now the first need is defense. 

And if you still think that the majority of the Wild’s players are untouchable, I have some prime real estate for you.


Injury Report:

Minnesota:  Mikko Koivu (undisclosed, questionable), Mike Lundin (lower body), Carson McMillan (lower body), Clayton Stoner (hip), Guillaume Latendresse (concussion), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion, groin),  Clayton Stoner (leg),  Nick Palmieri (upper body, questionable)   

Ryan O’Byrne (knee), Chuck Kobasew (back, questionable), Steve Downie (shoulder, questionable)        

Jack Jablonski  Jenna Privette

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