The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Nashville Predators 3/9/2013 @ 7:00PM CST at Bridgestone Arena

Minnesota Wild (11-9-2)  24pts  2nd in the Northwest

2.27 Goals For (25th)

2.50 Goals Against (10th)

15.4% Power Play (22nd)

86.8% Penalty Kill (5th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 4G 14A = 18pts

2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 8G 7A = 15pts

3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 1G 14A = 15pts

4. #15 Dany Heatley ~ 8G 5A = 13pts

5. #7 Matt Cullen ~ 3G 10A = 13pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 59 PIM's

2. #27 Mike Rupp ~ 27 PIM's

3. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 16 PIM's

Top Goaltender(s):

1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (9-6-2)  2.41GAA  .911%SP 

2. #35 Darcy Kuemper (1-2-0)  2.22GAA  .924%SP

3. #37 Josh Harding (1-1-0)  2.92GAA  .885%SP  1SO





Nashville Predators (10-9-5)  25pts  4th in the Central

2.12 Goals For (30th)

2.29 Goals Against (5th)

15.6% Power Play (21st)

77.2% Penalty Kill (27th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #33 Colin Wilson ~ 7G 12A = 19pts

2. #10 Martin Erat ~ 3G 10A = 13pts

3. #6 Shea Weber ~ 3G 9A = 12pts

4. #12 Mike Fisher ~ 4G 6A = 10pts

5. #74 Sergei Kostitsyn ~ 2G 8A = 10pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #16 Rich Clune ~ 46 PIM's

2. #10 Martin Erat ~ 26 PIM's

3. #22 Scott Hannan ~ 20 PIM's

Top Goaltender(s):

1. #35 Pekka Rinne (9-8-4)  2.15GAA  .917%SP  4SO

2. #30 Chris Mason (1-1-1)  2.89GAA  .900%SP 

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Ryan Suter


Never before in Minnesota Wild history has there ever been a game that the opposing fans have been looking forward to the Wild visiting their arena.  Usually, we're the team where fans pretty much have a reaction of "meh" when they know they're in town.  Let's face it; we're not a major draw.  However, that all changed on July 4th, 2012.  I was sitting on the beautiful shores of Rainy Lake, on the Ontario side, when the epic news came that Minnesota not only scored Zach Parise but they doubled-down and nabbed Ryan Suter as well.  Fans of teams like the Detroit Red Wings were flabbergasted that the pair chose Minnesota over their much vaunted team.  I know it was a day where I sported a perma-smile.  Of course, shortly after that, the comments lobbed at Minnesota ran the gamut of "good for Minnesota" to "wow" to "they're still going to suck and I'm going to laugh at them when they fail."  Of the last kind of comments, we know them to be nothing more than sour grapes.  And many of those sour grapes comments came from none other than Nashville.

It has been said by Nashville's General Manager David Poile and by Nashville's media that Suter didn't negotiate with good faith.  Poile has claimed that Suter agreed to talk with him before he accepted any offer.  Poile also claims that Suter said he wanted to return to Nashville.  However, Suter has stated time and time again, especially in regards to the last part that he has always wanted to play for a team closer to home for both him and his wife.  Add that to the fact that he and Parise wanted to play together.  I highly doubt Poile and the Predators were in the position to offer the same kind of deal to both Suter and Parise that Minnesota did.  Even if they could have offered the money, they didn't have the ability to offer the two players the chance to play close to their families.  Say what you want about professional athletes, while money is a great enticement, family often trumps dollar signs. 

I know there will be a lot of boo's tonight.  I know it.  Other fans know it.  And the Minnesota Wild know it.  I've never really understood the purpose of booing a player that chose to leave your team.  I prefer to reserve that kind of angst for dirty players who injure one of your own.  Very few players are with the team that drafted them when they retire.  That just doesn't happen much anymore.  So to Predators fans, I say "get over yourselves."  If you want the perfect revenge, support the team that you have.  Cheer extra loud for the players you have and the success that they have.  I've said this before, but the world's best revenge is to win.

Of course, I want nothing to do with Nashville's success, especially in their arena.  As a person who absolutely loathes country music, there is no goal celebration in hockey I hate more than Nashville's.  I hope that I do not have to hear that travesty at all tonight, or at the very least, fewer times than Minnesota scores.

Jack Jablonski & Jenna Privette