Quantcast
The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues 11/25/2017 @ 7:00PM CST at Scottrade Center

Minnesota Wild (11-8-3)  25pts  4th in the Central

3.00 Goals For Per Game (13th in the NHL)

2.73 Goals Against Per Game (8th in the NHL)

22.9% Power Play (8th in the NHL)

85.5% Penalty Kill (3rd in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #12 Eric Staal ~ 7G 13A = 20pts

2. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 12G 6A = 18pts

3. #64 Mikael Granlund ~ 5G 10A = 15pts

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

5. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 3G 12A = 15pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 16 PIM’s

2. #22 Nino Niederreiter ~ 14 PIM’s

3. #12 Eric Staal ~ 14 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (9-6-0-2)  2.66GAA  .915%SP  3SO

2. #32 Alex Stalock (2-2-0-1)  2.42GAA  .928%SP

 

 

Vs.

 

 

St. Louis Blues (16-6-1)  33pts  1st in the Central

3.30 Goals For Per Game (6th in the NHL)

2.61 Goals Against Per Game (5th in the NHL)

16% Power Play (27th in the NHL)

78.6% Penalty Kill (20th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #17 Jaden Schwartz ~ 11G 19A = 30pts

2. #10 Brayden Schenn ~ 10G 20A = 30pts

3. #91 Vladimir Tarasenko ~ 12G 14A = 26pts

4. #27 Alex Pietrangelo ~ 7G 13A = 20pts

5. #26 Paul Stastny ~ 5G 14A = 19pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #71 Vladimir Sobotka ~ 20 PIM’s

2. #10 Brayden Schenn ~ 20 PIM’s

3. #6 Joel Edmundson ~ 16 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #34 Jake Allen (12-5-0-1)  2.74GAA  .909%SP

2. #40 Carter Hutton (4-1-0-0)  1.59GAA  .946%SP

Lines:

St. Louis Blues

Schwartz~Schenn~Tarasenko

Sobotka~Stastny~Steen

Jaskin~Sundsqvist~Paajarvi

Upshall~Brodziak~Thorburn

Edmundson~Pietrangelo

Bouwmeester~Parayko

Dunn~Bortuzzo

Allen

Hutton

Minnesota Wild

Winnik~Koivu~Granlund

Zucker~Staal~Niederreiter

Foligno~Coyle~Ennis

Stewart~Cullen~Mitchell

Suter~Spurgeon

Brodin~Dumba

Quincey~Reilly

Dubnyk

Stalock

 

As I mentioned prior to Wednesday’s game, I love Thanksgiving. However, even though we have some of our favorite food items over this weekend, there comes a time when you don’t want to see another piece of turkey for a while. Leftovers are fine for a bit, and even anticipated, but there come a point where you just have to walk away. It reminds me of the scene in the classic Christmas movie A Christmas Story, after the neighbor’s hound dogs bust into the Parker household and eat the family Christmas turkey. Where the narrator states that there would be no turkey sandwiches, no turkey soup, no turkey hash. But honestly, there’s only so much you can do with leftover turkey. I feel a bit that way with the Minnesota Wild. There’s only so much you can do or expect with this team. On occasion they’ll surprise you (like the neighbor’s hound dogs breaking into your house) or they’ll disappoint you (like the aftermath of the hound dog break in). Yet during the time of the game, you’re kept on the hook, salivating at the hope of a win, just like you salivate during the cooking time of the turkey. You look forward to the end results, but whether those results are good are bad, that is the question. And on some days, you can only hope for the best…and hope that you don’t get embarrassed in the process.

Yesterday’s Black Friday game was definitely a mix of hoping for the best and hoping that you don’t get embarrassed. Trust me, Colorado is a team that I don’t want to be embarrassed by. They’re my current “love to hate” team. They’ve been that way really since the 2003 playoffs. Colorado is one of those teams where it doesn’t matter if they’re good or bad, but they think they should be at the top of the rankings. They have a swagger about them, that they haven’t lost since the Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic days. And I’m sure they love to hate us just as much. Because of the Minnesota Wild, their Stanley Cup dreams have come up short a couple of times now. Back in 2003, they were definitely a Cup contender, yet they were greatly embarrassed by team of NHL castaways. Then as recently as the 2014 playoffs, Colorado again had to go through Minnesota. Only to again be disappointed. I think it’s interesting that teams have their own personal Waterloo when it comes to the playoffs. For Minnesota, it’s Chicago. For Colorado, it’s getting to the point where if they have to play the Wild, they might as well plan on not getting past whatever round that is. So while it was great to get the win against the Avalanche yesterday, and to leapfrog both Colorado and Dallas in the standings, that was yesterday and today is a completely different day.

Welcome to Minnesota’s other Waterloo. It was one thing to face Saint Louis in the playoffs when Mike Yeo was still the Wild’s head coach. It seems to be another thing now that he’s finding coaching success with another team. I’ll admit, when it was first announced that he was going to be the Wild’s head coach after the Todd Richards experiment failed, I was somewhat excited. Sure I was hesitant because I didn’t want another rookie coach. However, watching how he coached with the then Houston Aeros, I thought this just might work. He was able to connect with young players in the minor league system and get them playing the way he wanted. However, coaching young players and career AHL players is one thing. Coaching some veteran NHL players with NHL contracts is another. As we witnessed with Richards, Yeo, and to a degree Bruce Boudreau, we have a few players on this team who believe they’re the ones who should be calling the shots, or at the very least the power play lines. Yeo has definitely (up to this point) seen more success with the Blues than he did with the Wild. It’s not every day when your team is sitting in second place (by one point) in the league. One could easily say that this is Saint Louis’ year, however I would still exercise some caution. Considering the number of times the Blues have made the playoffs and have yet to win the ultimate prize, it’s way to early to put the cart before the horse. However I would say they have just as good a chance as they’ve had in other seasons.

Many of you were probably out for the early morning shopping yesterday. After you found some deals, you probably came home, had a bite to eat, perhaps tuned in to some of the Minnesota high school football championship games (congrats to Spring Grove with their 9-man win and Caledonia with their 2AA win….two schools from my home county), and then settled down for the afternoon Wild game. Today, some of you are probably putting up Christmas decorations, especially some of the outdoor variety since there is no snow on the ground (well for most of us anyway). At least tonight’s game is a normal start time, where you can tune in and relax for the evening. Hopefully our weekend food comas don’t become hockey comas. I do worry about the Wild failing to show up tonight, and they put us to sleep early. At least if we’re forced to fall asleep we can be spared the potential embarrassment.