The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game #7: Minnesota Wild vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 10-15-2013 @ 6:00 PM at Air Canada Center

Minnesota Wild (3-1-2)  8pts  3rd in the Central
2.67 Goals per Game (16th)
2.00 Goals Against per Game (6th)
30.8% Power Play (5th)
72.7% Penalty Kill (24th)

Top 5 Goals:


1. #24 Matt Cooke ~ 3G 3A = 6pts
2. #25 Jonas Brodin ~ 2G 3A = 5pts
3. #11 Zach Parise ~ 4G 0A = 4pts
4. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 1G 3A = 4pts
5. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 0G 4A = 4pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 17 PIM's
2. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 13 PIM's
3. #2 Keith Ballard ~ 7 PIM's

Top Goaltenders:

1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (0-0-2)  3.40GAA  .849%SP
2. #37 Josh Harding (3-1-0)  1.06GAA  .948%SP




Toronto Maple Leafs (5-1-0)  10pts  1st in the Atlantic

3.67 Goals For (4th)
2.50 Goals Against (13th)
29.2% Power Play (6th)
90.9% Penalty Kill (2nd)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #19 Joffrey Lupul ~ 5G 3A = 8pts
2. #81 Phil Kessel ~ 2G 5A = 7pts
3. #21 James van Reimsdyk ~ 5G 1A = 6pts
4. #12 Mason Raymond ~ 2G 4A = 6pts
5. #43 Nazem Kadri ~ 2G 4A = 6pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #28 Colton Orr ~ 26 PIM's
2. #2 Mark Fraser ~ 16 PIM's
3. #21 James van Reimsdyk ~ 8 PIM's

Top Goaltenders:

1. #45 Jonathan Bernier (4-1-0)  1.75GAA  .946%SP  1SO
2. #34 James Reimer (1-0-0)  4.62GAA  .879%SP  

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Tyler Bozak


Toronto.  For the Minnesota Wild and it's faithful, we might as well rename the hockey mecca, Waterloo.  Combining back to back road games, a red-hot Toronto club, and the unknown of Minnesota, tonight could easily be very ugly.  Let's face it, as Wild fans, we're familiar with a team where adversity can work against them.  We've seen the team fall down once they get scored on.  Of course we've also seen a team that will continue to claw back, or playing behind and managing to clinch the win.  Truth of the matter, we're never quite sure which version of the Minnesota Wild we're going to see.

Of course things will automatically be more interesting, should as many expect, Darcy Kuemper gets the start in goal.  With Toronto playing as well as they have to start the season, expect to see which ever Wild goaltender starts to be under fire early and often.  Let's face it, when you're the Toronto Maple Leafs, and you've been one of the jokes of the league for as long as they have, they want (read that as NEED) to turn things around.  If ever there was a team that needed a true playoff run, it's Toronto.  To do that however, they must lay the ground work now.  And to do that, it means that the Wild will be under attack at all positions. 

However, we have seen a Minnesota team that can weather the storm.  Last night Buffalo had moments where they tried to take over the game on a physical level.  Yet, Minnesota managed to calmly take the game back each time the Sabres tried to take over.  The key, as has been the for the whole of this early part of the season, to keep possession of the puck and to do so wisely.  We're finally seeing a team that truly understands puck possession.  Not only have the Wild figured out the importance of controlling the puck, we are also see far less of dump and chase hockey.  It finally feels like intentional hockey instead of accidental hockey that is simply wasted.  

The one good thing about a new hockey season, is that it gives you a chance to play the annual "guess when Toronto falls apart" game.  Regardless of the outcome of tonight's game, we can go to bed knowing that eventually Toronto will become their own worst enemy.  And once that happens, we know that all is right with the world.


Jack Jablonski & Jenna Privette