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The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Montreal Canadiens 11/2/17 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild (4-4-2)  10pts  7th in the Central

3.10 Goals For Per Game (12th in the NHL)

2.90 Goals Against Per Game (13th in the NHL)

17.6% Power Play (13th in the NHL)

80.5% Penalty Kill (16th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #10 Chris Stewart ~ 6G 2A = 8pts

2. #12 Eric Staal ~ 4G 4A = 8pts

3. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 1G 7A = 8pts

4. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 3G 4A = 7pts

5. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 4G 2A = 6pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 12 PIM’s

2. #12 Eric Staal ~ 8 PIM’s

3. #17 Marcus Foligno ~ 7 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (3-3-0-1)  3.03GAA  .905%SP

2. #32 Alex Stalock (1-1-0-1)  2.64GAA  .918%SP

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Montreal Canadiens (4-7-1)  9pts  7th in the Atlantic

2.50 Goals For Per Game (27th in the NHL)

3.75 Goals Against Per Game (29th in the NHL)

13.7% Power Play (25th in the NHL)

76.2% Penalty Kill (28th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #6 Shea Weber ~ 3G 6A = 9pts

2. #92 Jonathan Drouin ~ 2G 7A = 9pts

3. #11 Brendan Gallagher ~ 4G 4A = 8pts

4. #25 Philip Danault ~ 3G 5A = 8pts

5. #41 Paul Byron ~ 3G 2A = 5pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #65 Andrew Shaw ~ 20 PIM’s

2. #83 Ales Hemsky ~ 10 PIM’s

3. #14 Tomas Plekanec ~ 10 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #31 Carey Price (3-6-0-1)  3.64GAA  .883%SP

2. #35 Al Montoya (1-1-0-0)  3.76GAA  .873%SP

Lines:

Montreal Canadiens

Lehkonen~Drouin~Byron

Pacioretty~Danault~Shaw

Hudon~Plekanec~Gallagher

Galchenyuk~McCarron~T. Mitchell

Mete~Weber

Alzner~Jo. Benn

Petry~Davidson

Price

Montoya

Minnesota Wild

Zucker~Koivu~Granlund

Niederreiter~Staal~Kunin

Foligno~Eriksson Ek~Stewart

Winnik~Cullen~Ennis

Suter~Spurgeon

Brodin~Dumba

Olofsson~Reilly

Dubnyk

Stalock

 

As a child, one of the worst punishments (especially during the summer) was to be grounded for one infraction or another. It didn’t happen often to me, mostly because I was the kind of kid who didn’t bother looking for trouble and I had parents with firm boundaries when it came to acceptable behavior. It didn’t make sense to test those boundaries, so I think I may have only been grounded once or twice. Heck, I can’t even remember what I was punished for, since it was thirty years or so ago.

Getting grounded meant no going to the playground (which was right down the block from my childhood home). No playing with friends at the playground. And certainly no television viewing. It was very boring. Today, things are much different. Kids don’t spend sun up to sun down during the summer months playing outside. What they do spend their hours on, is being glued to whatever electronic devices their parents give them: cell phone, tablet, computer, video game. 10-year-olds today seem to get the latest and greatest without much trouble. It’s one thing for me to have a 256GB iPhone 7, but no 10-year-old needs one, yet plenty of them do. And come tomorrow, with the release of iPhone X, plenty of them will somehow convince their parents that they must have it.

As a kid, I never would have asked for anything that cost $1,000.  I felt guilty enough of the present I wanted for Christmas was in the $100 range. Having their phone taken is epic to a kid, but I find most parents cave in and give the phone back to the kid. In this day and age of helicopter parenting, mom and dad claim that they have to give the phone back to their kid for “safety reasons.” Regardless, the kid rarely seems to learn the lesson they should. Which of course creates a generation of entitled children who become entitled adults. Not pleasant.

This trip back to my childhood (and rant against today’s youth and their parents) was inspired by the play of Matt Dumba this season. Heck even to a point, last season wasn’t so hot for him either, if we’re being truly honest. He has been a one-man horror show on skates. I missed Tuesday night’s crapfest because I was working, but trust me, I heard all about how horrible he was. I’ve seen plenty of replays of his ridiculous blind pass that led to Nikolaj Ehler’s unassisted goal. That unforgivable mistake had him riding the pine pony for pretty much the third period, and rightfully so. His play as of late makes me wonder if he needed time in former head coach Mike Yeo’s dog house. Dumba is one of those players, who almost has gotten a free pass over the years and now it’s up to Bruce Boudreau to rescind that pass. Heck, look at the players who did spend frequent time in Yeo’s dog house. Jason Zucker was one of those players. I would say he learned from adversity, and become the player this team has needed for some time. Another (and now former) player who also was in the dog house quite frequently was Erik Haula. Yeo’s aversion to speedy skill players forced those two players to reflect a bit on their own play. They both became more defensively aware, while still utilizing their normal skillset, and has made them far more valuable players. So while it’s been a few seasons coming, it is now time for Dumba to spend some time in Boudreau’s dog house. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a scarier dog house than Yeo’s was. It’s going to be up to Dumba if he actually learns something from it.

The Montreal Canadiens appear to be having a season similar to the Wild. Struggles out of the gate. Both sitting in 7th place in their respective divisions. Sub-par goaltending from their starting netminders. You could pretty much swap rosters, and for the fans, they pretty much wouldn’t notice a difference. That’s how bad it is. And in Montreal, the press is most likely skewering the Habs. The entire team is most likely in a dog house. It’s bad enough to be in the coach’s dog house, but it has to be even worse to be in the fans’ dog house which happens to be in Montreal. Since neither Carey Price or Devan Dubnyk are having great seasons for their respective teams, this could end up being an ugly, high scoring game on one of both sides of the ice. However for that to happen, it means that both teams need to find some (meaningful) offense. I don’t know about Montreal, but I’m not holding out much hope for the Minnesota Wild. This also could be a really boring game. Remember the snooze-fest against Vancouver? Yeah, it could end up being that again. Honestly, I don’t know what to expect, but I have a feeling it’s not going to be a good game. Especially when you throw in Minnesota’s history with Montreal.

Prepare to be unimpressed and/or horrified. I just may have to ground myself and stop watching this team for a bit if things don’t change soon.