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The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks 10/12/2017 @ 7:30PM at United Center

Minnesota Wild (0-1-1)  1pt  4th in the Central

3.00 Goals For (11th in the NHL)

4.00 Goals Against (24th in the NHL)

14.3% Power Play (18th in the NHL)

70% Penalty Kill (28th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #10 Chris Stewart ~ 2G 1A = 3pts

2. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 1G 1A = 2pts

3. #12 Eric Staal ~ 1G 1A = 2pts

4. #17 Marcus Foligno ~ 0G 2A = 2pts

5. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 0G 1A = 1pt

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #25 Jonas Brodin ~ 2 PIM’s

2. #7 Matt Cullen ~ 2 PIM’s

3. #26 Daniel Winnik ~ 2 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (0-1-0)  4.12GAA  .871%SP

2. #32 Alex Stalock (0-0-1)  3.74GAA  .905%SP

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Chicago Blackhawks (3-0-1)  7pts  1st in the Central

5.25 Goals For (3rd in the NHL)

1.75 Goals Against (3rd in the NHL)

18.8% Power Play (15th in the NHL)

86.7% Penalty Kill (11th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #20 Brandon Saad ~ 5G 2A = 7pts

2. #14 Richard Panik ~ 3G 3A = 6pts

3. #88 Patrick Kane ~ 2G 4A = 6pts

4. #38 Ryan Hartman ~ 1G 5A = 6pts

5. #19 Jonathan Toews ~ 2G 3A = 5pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #17 Lance Bouma ~ 7 PIM’s

2. #44 Jan Rutta ~ 4 PIM’s

3. #38 Ryan Hartman ~ 4 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #50 Corey Crawford (3-0-0)  1.00GAA  .971%SP

2. #31 Anton Forsberg (0-0-1)  3.77GAA  .907%SP

Lines:

Chicago Blackhawks

Saad~Toews~Panik

Hartman~Schmaltz~Kane

Sharp~Anisimov~DeBrincat

Bouma~Wingels~Hayden

Keith~Seabrook

Kempny~Murphy

Forsling~Rutta

Crawford

Forsberg

Minnesota Wild

Niederreiter~Staal~Coyle

Mr. Foligno~Koivu~Ennis

Zucker~Eriksson Ek~Stewart

Winnik~Cullen

Suter~Spurgeon

Brodin~Dumba

Quincey~Reilly / Olofsson

Dubnyk

Stalock

 

Finally, it feels like Fall here in the Upper Midwest. We’ve had some lovely days in the mid-50s, so eventually we’ll start to see the leaves change color. Of course that also means they’ll start dropping in your yard. Your choices are to rake them or to turn on the mulch setting on your lawn mower. I love Fall, however it also has some downsides for me as well. This time of year is hard for me when it comes to seasonal allergies. While most people suffer from them in the Spring and Summer, for me, October is usually the worst. I’m not quite sure what’s in the air, but it is pure torture for me. The three years I lived in Connecticut, it was even worse as I was not acclimated to their trees, pollen, and grasses. This week, the change in season has pretty much settled a nasty headache on me. I’m not sure if it’s of the sinus or tension variety, but I’ve been pretty miserable. No amount of water, caffeine, or aspirin makes it go away. I can’t tell you how badly I want to take some time off, but it’s just not possible. I was sick for several days last month so I don’t have enough earned sick time to take the day off. I’ve also looked at taking a vacation day, but while I have a sufficient balance of vacation time to do so, there’s not enough available vacation hours in my group of employees to take time off (Fall is a busy time in the tech world). So, I am stuck with a “grin and bear it” scenario and clearly not functioning at my absolute best.

The Minnesota Wild are having their own seasonal blues. And just like my inability to take sick or vacation time, they’re suffering a bit of a crunch as well. Also just like me, it’s a combination of players being injured and lack of money to call anyone up. It’s not a good combination, and it means that you’re not going to perform at your best. I’m not sure which issue is the most critical. It’s kind of like the proverbial chicken and egg scenario. However, we’re going to start with the most obvious problem. When you’re missing two of your top players, the pain is going to be real. If you thought there was any chance of seeing Zach Parise tonight, you’re clearly living in some sort of fantasy land. He will be out again tonight. Then to add insult to injury, he will also be out for Saturday night’s home opener with the Blue Jackets. He’s been practicing with the team, but has not been given the go-ahead for actual game play. At this point, it looks like we won’t see him until either Winnipeg or Calgary on October 20th and 21st. And that’s not to say his return will solve all of the Wild’s woes. He’s been out so long at this point, that we will most likely see some re-acclimation time. Then of course there’s the fact that the Wild are also without Mikael Granlund as well. Now most would call someone up from their minor league affiliate. However those teams are not called the Minnesota Wild. Because of some ridiculous contracts on the Wild’s books, they only have $206,409 in cap space. That prohibits them calling anyone up without sending anyone down to Iowa. While they still have space in the salary cap, with how limited it is, you might as well call it a deficit. Lovely.

With all of these problems, you have to face your Achille’s heel. Not only do you have to play Chicago, but you have to play Chicago in Chicago. Considering what the Blackhawks did to the reigning Stanley Cup Champions last week (they beat the Penguins 10-1 if you didn’t see that score), I’m almost glad I’ll be working tonight and will miss this one. While they’re without Marian Hossa this season, their core is there. It also doesn’t hurt that they were able to bring back Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp to their lineup. Mix that in with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith you almost want to pack up your toys and go home. Just like I’m feeling like I’m not up for a day at work, you have to wonder how the Wild are feeling. Wild coach Bruce Boudreau sees tonight as a measuring stick. Hey Bruce, weren’t the losses in Detroit and Raleigh enough of a measuring stick for you? If you can’t find wins against those teams, what do you honestly think your chances are going to be against Chicago? They’ve also played four games compared to our measly two. They’re 3-1, and the loss being a 1-goal loss against Toronto. And again, let’s not forget the smackdown they gave Pittsburgh. Honestly, I don’t even know why anyone is bothering to ask how Minnesota will stack up against Chicago.

Well I’m about ready to limp through another day at work. Thankfully today is my Friday. Sadly, my limping through work will most likely be more successful than the Wild’s limping through tonight’s game. I suggest some self-medicating for you all. I will be near my Excedrin bottle all day