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The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game #8: Minnesota Wild vs. Tampa Bay Lightning 10/17/2013 @ 6:00PM CST at St. Pete Times Forum

Minnesota Wild (3-2-2)  8pts  4th in the Central

2.43 Goals For (17th)

2.29 Goals Against (5th)

29% Power Play (5th)

68% Penalty Kill (29th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #24 Matt Cooke ~ 3G 3A = 6pts

2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 4G 1A = 5pts

3. #25 Jonas Brodin ~ 2G 3A = 5pts

4. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 0G 5A = 5pts

5. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 1G 3A = 4pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 19 PIM's

2. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 13 PIM's

3. #2 Keith Ballard ~ 2 PIM's

Top Goaltenders:

1. #37 Josh Harding (3-1-0)  .94GAA  .952%SP

2. #32 Niklas Backstrom (0-0-2)  3.40GAA  .849%SP

3. #35 Darcy Kuemper (0-1-0)  5.63GAA  .571%SP

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Tampa Bay Lightning (4-2-0)  8pts  4th in the Atlantic

3.67 Goals For (5th)

2.50 Goals Against (12th)

27.3% Power Play (4th)

74.1% Penalty Kill (23rd)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #26 Martin St. Louis ~ 4G 6A = 10pts

2. #91 Steven Stamkos ~ 4G 5A = 9pts

3. #16 Teddy Purcell ~ 4G 4A = 8pts

4. #17 Alex Killorn ~ 2G 4A = 6pts

5. #51 Valterri Filppula ~ 4G 1A = 5pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #12 Ryan Malone ~ 26 PIM's

2. #7 Radko Gudas ~ 22 PIM's

3. #77 Victor Hedman ~ 11 PIM's

Top Goaltenders:

1. #30 Ben Bishop (4-0-0)  1.71GAA  .939%SP 

2. #39 Anders Lindback (0-2-0)  4.07GAA  .843%SP

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Steven Stamkos

 

I'm at the point where this road trip could just end at any moment.  On a personal level, when you work until 7:00pm and the current back of games are being played on Eastern Time as opposed to our favored Central Time, it messes with one's game watching enjoyment.  Even games that start on Central Time have been a challenge for me this season.  I never thought I'd live to see the day that I would say the words "man, I wish we were playing in Vancouver tonight."  Please ignore that I even had such a thought.  However, the biggest reason I wish this road trip would be over, is that it's a road trip.  I tend to get a bit nervous anytime the Wild head out on the road for any length of time.  And let's face it, four game in a row on the road are not usually a recipe for success for a team that has had some struggles.  

One thing I don't want to see again is another night of a team "dominating" the game, except for where it ultimately counts.  Tuesday's game in Toronto was one of those games.  I know I'm probably going to catch some grief for this, but it's obvious the one place this team has failed to improve their game is the last line of defense the team has.  We upgraded the team bringing in players like Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Ryan Suter as well as starting to draft well and allowing those prospects to actually develop.  However, when it comes to goaltender, we've held on to Niklas Backstrom like grim death and I sometimes wonder if the front office sits in their offices with their fingers crossed while rubbing rabbits' feet when it comes to Josh Harding.  Just when we thought we had a goaltending prospect about ready to play in St. Paul, we traded him.  All I can hope is that at some point, this team wakes up and realizes they need to do something with the position of goaltender.  And of course the big question that the front office doesn't seem to want to ask is, just how many times can Backstrom get hurt before we're really in trouble?

I'll admit I'm glad we're getting this particular road trip out of the way.  It will good practice for our three game Canadian road trip next month (Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg then rounded out by St. Louis).  In fact it's good practice for most of our road trips.  Four games is the longest Minnesota will be on the road this season, and we have several of these four game road trips.  Road trips are often a make or break situation.  I just hope we have more games like Monday as opposed to Tuesday.  Yet, even with the loss on Tuesday, we can only look to the future and hope that they take some lessons from that loss and future losses.

 

 

Jack Jablonski & Jenna Privette