The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues 4/1/2013 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild (21-11-2)  44pts  1st in the Northwest

2.74 Goals For (14th)

2.50 Goals Against (11th)

18.3% Power Play (16th)

82.2% Penalty Kill (11th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 9G 24A = 33pts

2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 15G 15A = 30pts

3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 3G 25A = 28pts

4. #7 Matt Cullen ~ 7G 18A = 25pts

5. #10 Devin Setoguchi ~ 12G 11A = 23pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 96 PIM's

2. #27 Mike Rupp ~ 65 PIM's

3. #44 Justin Falk ~ 36 PIM's

Top Goaltender(s):

1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (19-7-2)  2.34GAA .916%SP  1 SO

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

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

4. #31 Matt Hackett (0-1-0)  5.02GAA  .848%SP






St. Louis Blues (17-14-2)  36pts  4th in the Central

2.79 Goals For (10th)

2.79 Goals Against (19th)

22.4% Power Play (4th)

82.1% Penalty Kill (12th)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #25 Chris Stewart ~ 15G 14A = 29pts

2. #57 David Perron ~ 9G 13A = 22pts

3. #20 Alexander Steen ~ 6G 15A = 21pts

4. #74 T.J. Oshie ~ 7G 13A = 20pts

5. #22 Kevin Shattenkirk ~ 2G 18A = 20pts

Top 3 PIM's:

1. #75 Ryan Reaves ~ 65 PIM's

2. #42 David Backes ~ 44 PIM's

3. #25 Chris Stewart ~ 36 PIM's

Top Goaltender(s):

1. #34 Jake Allen (8-3-0)  2.45GAA  .906%SP  1 SO

2. #41 Jaroslav Halak (6-5-1)  2.19GAA  .897%SP  3 SO

3. #1 Brian Elliott (3-6-1)  3.65GAA  .851%SP  

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Niklas Backstrom


We've all had that moment.  That moment where you absolutely hate your job.  For myself personally, the last time that happened was last night.  And sometimes "hate" is not quite the right word either, and perhaps "frustration" is a better choice of word.  The reasons we hate our jobs are as varied as the reasons why we might love our jobs.  Some of the most common reasons for not liking our jobs are not liking one's boss or co-workers, low pay, office politics, horrible hours, or too many difficult customers.  My own job is in sales and customer service, so I'm sure that many of you can imagine why I would be frustrated with my job.  For the most part, my hate of my job is in the monotony of the tasks.  I'm not too proud to admit, that my frustration manifested itself with tears.  Although, I must admit that yesterday's breakdown probably had something to do with the fact that I worked yesterday on a holiday instead of being with my family.  Thankfully for myself, my loathing/hate/frustration of my job is short-lived.  I usually get back to my normal chipper self thanks to some of our truly great customers.  And here's a tip for your as a consumer.  If you want better customer service, treat the person on the phone kindly.  Yelling and name calling will only get you so far.  Being kind makes the entire process much easier for all involved.  And if I'm not frustrated by call after call, I'm far more effective at my job (therefore able to do my job and help you to the best of my ability).

Sometimes that frustration is of our own making.  We get stuck in a rut, and that rut makes it hard for us to succeed.  As sports fans, we've all seen those players stuck in a rut.  For some players, lack of scoring can get them down, especially if they had a great season the year before.  For example, last season were great years for both Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak.  Fans this year have often asked what has happened this season.  From time to time, they'll chip in a goal, but they're no where near last season's output.  Although, we keep hoping that they'll break out of their respective funks and add much needed scoring.  Then there's the sad tale of Dany Heatley.  He started out the season with some great goals, and then it seemed to dry up.  Yes, he gets the occasional goal now and then, but you always wish for more from him as you know he has more to give.  Probably the biggest problem with Heatley is his overall lack of speed.  Now last season, it wasn't as noticeable, as we were a much slower team.  But when you add players like Zach Parise and Torey Mitchell to the lineup, you automatically become faster.  Sadly, there's nothing that Heatley can do to become faster.  But what would get Heatley back in the good graces of fans, would be to get into those dirty areas in front of the net and score more goals.  Consindering how well the season is going, these three players can't argue that their frustration with how the team is playing is effecting their individual play.  Their ruts are their own and will be solved by the players themselves if they can just figure out what they're doing wrong.

In most workplaces, employees have yearly performance reviews.  Our effectiveness as an employee ultimately effects the overall success of our employer.  The Minnesota Wild are nearing one of their goals that can be measured by a performance review.  That goal, being making the playoffs.  It's been far too long that players and fans have seen games past the regular season.  If this was a normal season, we'd be within a few days of the end of the regular season.  But it's not a normal season.  Including tonight's game, there are still fourteen games left.  Instead of just two to three game remanining, fourteen allows plenty of time where things could go horribly wrong.  And after what happened with the epic meltdown last season, we're all still playing a wait and see game.  And I don't know about you, but the best time for those players stuck in their own ruts, would be on this final push into the playoffs.   



Jack Jablonski & Jenna Privette