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The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings 12/5/17 @ 9:00PM CST at Staples Center

Minnesota Wild (13-10-3)  29pts  5th in the Central

2.96 Goals For Per Game (15th in the NHL)

2.92 Goals Against Per Game (12th in the NHL)

22.8% Power Play (7th in the NHL)

82.5% Penalty Kill (9th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #12 Eric Staal ~ 10G 13A = 23pts

2. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 13G 9A = 22pts

3. #64 Mikael Granlund ~ 6G 10A = 16pts

4. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 4G 11A = 15pts

5. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 4G 11A = 15pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 20 PIM’s

2. #22 Nino Niederreiter ~ 16 PIM’s

3. #26 Daniel Winnik ~ 15 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (11-7-0-2)  2.71GAA  .916%SP  3SO

2. #32 Alex Stalock (2-3-0-1)  3.14GAA  .904%SP

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Los Angeles Kings (17-8-3)  37pts  1st in the Pacific

2.96 Goals For Per Game (14th in the NHL)

2.18 Goals Against Per Game (1st in the NHL)

16.5% Power Play (28th in the NHL)

89.5% Penalty Kill (1st in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #11 Anze Kopitar ~ 14G 17A = 31pts

2. #23 Dustin Brown ~ 11G 12A = 23pts

3. #74 Tyler Toffoli ~ 13G 6A = 19pts

4. #8 Drew Doughty ~ 4G 15A = 19pts

5. #9 Adrian Kempe ~ 9G 7A = 16pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #56 Kurtis MacDermid ~ 37 PIM’s

2. #15 Andy Andreoff ~ 36 PIM’s

3. #24 Derek Forbort ~ 20 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #32 Jonathan Quick (13-8-0-1)  2.21GAA  .930%SP  2SO

2. #35 Darcy Kuemper (4-0-0-2)  1.72GAA  .944%SP  1SO

Lines:

Los Angeles Kings

Iafallo~Kopitar~Brown

Pearson~Shore~Toffoli

Gaborik~Kempe~Lewis

Jokinen~Dowd~Brodzinski

Muzzin~Doughty

MacDermid~Martinez

Forbort~Folin

Quick

Kuemper

Minnesota Wild

Granlund~Koivu~Zucker

Niederreiter~Staal~Foligno

Winnik~Coyle~Stewart

Ennis~Cullen~Mitchell

Suter~Dumba

Brodin~Murphy

Reilly~Prosser

Dubnyk

Stalock

 

Last week when I was in a bit of a snit over how the Wild were playing, we visited a very Minnesotan kind of thing. We discussed “The Power of the Negative” as demonstrated by writer Howard Mohr for his How to Talk Minnesotan series he had on Minnesota Public Television. As discussed, I talked about our passive-aggressive tendencies and how it can show up in sports. Well today, we’re looking at another Minnesota institution. No, we’re not talking about the University of Minnesota, a classic bastion of higher education (or any of the colleges and universities of my home state). Nor are we talking about lutefisk, one of the more vile things ever created that masquerades as food as we get close to the Christmas season. Today’s Minnesota classic (and this does work well with our passive-aggressive personalities) is a familiar one, especially amongst Gen X’ers. What I’m talking about is Mystery Science Theater 3000. And since you probably have the theme song already going through your head, feel free to sing along:

MST3K got its start on KTMA in Minneapolis on November 24, 1988. The first movie they spiffed in that episode was Invaders From the Deep. Growing up in outstate Minnesota, it took many years before I would see the episodes on television. When I did see them it was usually after an episode of Saturday Night Live. Not exactly a great combo when it was expected that you had to be at church bright and early in the morning. And this was before the invention of the DVR. You had to hope your VCR worked and you could record the episode and watch it Sunday afternoon. The episodes I was able to catch definitely had a part in shaping my sense of humor. If you’re one of those people reading this and you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, then you’ve probably lived under a rock or you’re like 14 years old. But back to the theme at hand, there’s nothing quite like watching really bad B-movies, watching people crack jokes about them, and laugh. In fact, after a while you start cracking your own jokes.

Having watched as much MST3k as I have over the years, it shouldn’t come as a shock to you that I riff other things besides movies. In my job, there are times where in my mind I’m riffing the things customers say to me. However when it comes to sports, this also happens. If you were ever able to watch a game with Derek and I, you find us riffing the decisions by the Minnesota Wild. Although I would say, we’re not as polite as Joel Hodgeson was on his creation. When players do stupid things, you will definitely hear us call out the players, often with several more colorful terms used. For example, the night that the Wild lost in overtime to New Jersey, when Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivu refused to leave the ice during overtime and then tired and caught flatfooted cost the team the game. So Saturday night, I’m watching the game against the Blues. Just before overtime started, the Minnesota Wild tweeted this:

 

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Feeling pretty snarky about the Wild in general, and in particular when it comes to overtime, I tweeted this, in almost MST3K glory:

 

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I haven’t gotten used to the new Twitter that now allows us for longer tweets. I should have included Suter in that, but I left him off. I’ve become so accustomed to see both of those guys on the ice for power plays and overtime, that I took it for a given. So imagine my absolute shock that on the ice for the overtime was Charlie CoyleJonas Brodin, and Matt Dumba. In my shock, I was sure that we wouldn’t see them on the ice for very long. Of course as I’m counting down in my head how long it will be until we see the usual suspects, Dumba does the unthinkable and doesn’t waste time and gets the puck back up the ice. We all (happily) know how the coaching decision by Bruce Boudreau and Dumba and Coyle’s speed turned out. Hopefully we see more of this.

Now, we embark on a West Coast road trip. These road trips are some of my least favorite times of the year. If you’re a fan of a team in the Eastern and Central Time Zone, games on the West Coast are brutal. There’s nothing I dislike more than a game that starts at 9:00pm when I have to start my job at 7:00am the next morning. And that my friends is my life, and I’m sure it’s that way for many of you as well. I hated having the closing shift at my job, but for late games like this it wasn’t as bad. So as I’m starting to watch tonight’s game, my mind and body are going to be saying “go to sleep.” And considering of the Wild’s games lately, there won’t be much happening on the ice to keep my attention. And the more tired I get, the more snarky I get. Chances are, I will be riffing things that don’t really need to be riffed. However I’m going to be tired and I’m watching a Wild team that I don’t really trust. I don’t trust them to make sound hockey decisions on a regular basis and I don’t trust certain players to put their egos away. Looking at the stats, the Los Angeles Kings are one of the better teams the Wild will have faced this season. They have the best goals against per game and the best penalty kill. The last thing the Wild need is to face a team defense that is beyond stingy. I remember the days when the Wild’s defense was like that. It would definitely be nice to see more of that team defense these days. Sure, there are enough teams in the league that would gladly have Minnesota’s goals against per game and penalty kill, but it’s nothing like the Kings’. And I’m sure the Kings would gladly take the Wild’s goals for per game and power play. Can you imagine a team that had a combo of those team stats? It would be a scary opponent.

I have a good feeling that tonight my Twitter feed will be my own personal MST3K feed. Hopefully the Wild’s play won’t put me in the state of mind. I’m hoping they use Saturday’s win against a tough Blues team to spurn them into action in Los Angeles.