The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks 1/30/2013 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild (3-2-1)  7pts  (1st in the Northwest)

2.67 Goals For per Game (16th in the NHL)

2.83 Goals Against per Game (16th in the NHL)

16th ranked Power Play (19.2%)

10th ranked Penalty Kill (83.3%)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 5G 4A = 9pts

2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 2G 6A = 8pts

3. #15 Dany Heatley ~ 4G 2A = 6pts

4. #77 Tom Gilbert ~ 2G 3A = 5pts

5. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 0G 4A = 4pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 12 PIM's

2. #14 Darroll Powe ~ 9 PIM's

3. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 8 PIM's

Top Goaltender(s):

1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (2-1-0)  2.99GAA  .887%SP 

2. #37 Josh Harding (1-1-0)  2.56GAA  .902%SP






Chicago Blackhawks (6-0-0)  12 points  (1st in the Central)

3.67 Goals For per Game (4th in the NHL)

2.17 Goals Against per Game (7th in the NHL)

8th ranked Power Play (26.9%)

2nd ranked Penalty Kill (95.6%)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #88 Patrick Kane ~ 2G 7A = 9pts

2. #81 Marian Hossa ~ 5G 3A = 8pts

3. #19 Jonathan Toews ~ 3G 3A = 6pts

4. #10 Patrick Sharp ~ 2G 4A = 6pts

5. #8 Nick Leddy ~ 1G 4A = 5pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #52 Brandon Bollig ~ 12 PIM's

2. #81 Marian Hossa ~ 10 PIM's

3. #22 Jamal Mayers ~ 9 PIM's

Top Goaltender(s):

1. #50 Corey Crawford (5-0-0)  1.78GAA  .933%SP

2. #30  Ray Emery (1-0-0)  4.00GAA  .862%SP

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Mikko Koivu


I'll admit, it feels good to be back in the win column.  Plus it feels good to be back in first place in the Northwest Division, even though that's tenuous at best.  It's still way too early to get anything close to an idea how the playoff picture will play out.  And with this shortened, compressed season, the standings will be constantly in flux to the very end.

But while I'm feeling good this morning, it's not all rainbows and lollipops this morning.  First off, there is absolutely no excuse for allowing the Columbus Blue Jackets back into the game like we did.  Yes, the first period was all Minnesota.  However, like has been a problem in the past, we did not get a full 60 minutes from the home team.  It's almost as if they think that the roster has improved as much as it has that it can take shifts off.  Hate to break it to them, but that's the fursthest thing from the truth.  In fact, with the talent upgrade, more teams are going to be targeting Minnesota that the Wild are going to have to play even harder than before.  And also like in the Wild's past, they have a nasty habit of losing the games they should win, and they came dangerously close to doing that last night.  Thank goodness for Pierre-Marc Bouchard and his timing.

I honestly don't expect the Wild to come out like they did last night.  Having played last night, they're going to be tired.  Heck, they looked tired while playing.  Sadly, tired play can and does turn into lazy play, which is what happened last night.  So while Minnesota comes out sluggish, such will not be the case with the Chicago Blackhawks.  They have in fact had a mini-vacation in St. Paul and were in attendance at last night's game.  They should be well aware of our team's foibles, and should fully expect them to take advantage of them.  So yes, playing a well-rested, undefeated team is not a recipe for success.  I firmly expect to see an ugly game.  Yes, not exactly a happy thought.

I just may be watching tonight's game through splayed fingers.



Jack Jablonski & Jenna Privette