Quantcast
The Sports Daily > Crease and Assist
Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Winnipeg Jets 10/31/17 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota Wild (4-3-2)  10pts  7th in the Central

3.33 Goals For Per Game (9th in the NHL)

3.00 Goals Against Per Game (16th in the NHL)

20.7% Power Play (10th in the NHL)

78.9% Penalty Kill (21st in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

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

2. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 1G 7A = 8pts

3. #12 Eric Staal ~ 4G 3A = 7pts

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. #27 Kyle Quincey ~ 6 PIM’s

3. #26 Daniel Winnik ~ 6 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

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

2. #32 Alex Stalock (1-0-0-1)  2.90GAA  .924%SP

 

 

Vs.

 

 

Winnipeg Jets (5-3-2)  12pts  3rd in the Central

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

3.10 Goals Against Per Game (21st in the NHL)

14.7% Power Play (23rd in the NHL)

77.8% Penalty Kill (23rd in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #26 Blake Wheeler ~ 4G 8A = 12pts

2. #55 Mark Scheifele ~ 4G 7A = 11pts

3. #27 Nikolaj Ehlers ~ 6G 2A = 8pts

4. #29 Patrik Laine ~ 4G 2A = 6pts

5. #33 Dustin Byfuglien ~ 0G 6A = 6pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #33 Dustin Byfuglien ~ 14 PIM’s

2. #26 Blake Wheeler ~ 12 PIM’s

3. #48 Brendan Lemieux ~ 10 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #37 Connor Hellebuyck (5-0-0-1)  2.05GAA  .937%SP

2. #35 Steve Mason (0-3-0-1)  4.84GAA  .872%SP

Lines:

Winnipeg Jets

Connor~Scheifele~Wheeler

Ehlers~Little~Laine

Tanev~Copp~Matthias

Lemeiux~Hendricks~Armia

Morrissey~Trouba

Enstrom~Byfuglien

Kulikov~Myers

Hellebuyck

Mason

Minnesota Wild

Zucker~Koivu~Granlund

Ennis~Staal~Niederreiter

Foligno~Eriksson Ek~Stewart

Winnik~Cullen~Kunin

Suter~Spurgeon

Reilly~Brodin

Quincey~Dumba

Dubnyk

Stalock

 

Happy Halloween! For some you’ll be out and about with your little ones while they’re off begging for sugar, and if you’re a Wild fan, you’re begging your child to get home in time for the game. Others will be sitting at home, doling out the candy to the little beggars. And because some of us are working, our houses will be dark, with no candy being dished out. Halloween is a time when scary movies are popular. Combine those movies with your ridiculous sugar high then you end up with strange dreams and nightmares. Then like me, you wake up feeling completely disoriented. This morning was one of those mornings. Now mind you, mine wasn’t because of scary movies or sugar. For me, I think it was some environmental elements that effected how I physically felt that generated these dreams. This morning my dream was that I was suffering from an anaphylactic shock. For those of us with severe allergies (for me, it’s penicillin and sulfa drugs), you are always conscious of what’s around you. I’m fortunate in that my allergies are more controllable, meaning that I don’t have to worry about a stray peanut or an evil bee attacking me. I also don’t have to keep an EpiPen with me at all times. However, in my dream I had a bee allergy and the ambulance had to come get me. One of the symptoms of anaphylactic shock is difficulty breathing. I woke up this morning all stuffed up. The cause? Well because of the drop in temperature, the furnace is now on. I have yet to adjust to the drier conditions of the forced air heating and hence the breathing issues. Welcome to my crazy dream.

Now for the Wild, we have to wonder if we’re going to get pleasant dream or disturbing nightmare. With this season, we’ve already seen both scenarios. From game to game, we never know what we’re going to get. However in recent games, we’re seeing more of the pleasant dreams. I would say it’s sad to be excited over a two-game winning streak. Yeah, that’s where we’re currently sitting. In past seasons, a two-game winning streak was nothing to write home about. It simply would be a warm up to a lengthier streak. Longer streaks are expected and pretty much demanded. I think this season, we’re going to have to be content with the smaller streaks. I would say however if we have these shorter streaks, hopefully they’re plentiful. And that the losses between the wins are just one or two, and not extended streaks either. I feel however, no matter what, I think the nightmare has been revealed. The slow start combined with the injuries early in the season are going to make matters very difficult for any chance of a Wild post-season. Sure, there’s always a chance, but there would need to be some epic unraveling of seasons for quite a few teams ahead of Minnesota in the standings for that to happen. It would end up being a Wild dream come true and a horrific nightmare for those other teams. Yes, it could happen, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Now there are some dreams coming true tonight. First off, we get the return of Nino Niederreiter to the Wild lineup tonight. Let’s face it, his presence has been greatly missed. Head coach Bruce Boudreau has had to shift lines on a nightly basis as he has had to work in players re-called from Iowa. Heck, not only has he had to shift the lines on a nightly basis, but he’s also had to do so on a shift-by-shift basis. When you’re bringing in less experienced players to cover for the absence of an established player, the chemistry gets completed altered. Thankfully while we’ve been without Niederreiter, players like Chris Stewart has stepped up and provided some much needed offense. Heck, who would have thought that we’d have to depend on Chris Stewart to be the main source of goals. My only hope is that Niederreiter’s return isn’t as disappointing as Mikael Granlund’s has been. I feel like Granlund came back a game or two early. Now with all the injuries, the Wild probably didn’t have much choice but to return Granlund when they did. With the salary cap issues, they needed to use the players that have tied up the payroll. Granlund’s other issue with his return is that he’s tried to be too fancy, trying to do too much. When coming back from injury, you really just need to keep things simple. Now that Niederreiter is back, I hope he sticks to his game and uses his size and skill to the team’s advantage.

The other dream come true (hopefully), is that Alex Stalock will be getting the start tonight. While he’s most likely not a true starter, I think most Wild fans would like to see Stalock more than we have. In the two games he has played, most fans have been quite pleased. The problem though is that for both Stalock and Devan Dubnyk we’re not exactly getting the team defense in front of our goaltenders. Sure Dubnyk is the main goaltender, but with how things are going, I’d pretty much welcome a tandem goalie situation much like the Manny Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson days. Dubnyk has been wandering too much in and out of his crease to make me comfortable with him on most night. Stalock on the other hand, seems to focus more on the goaltending fundamentals. Just like Dubnyk did when we first acquired him. I remember a story about Dubnyk and his goalie coach and their focus on puck tracking. I feel like that’s fallen by the wayside, as on most nights it feels like he’s not seeing the puck like he used to. Because of that, this is why I (and many fans) are happy to see Stalock in net. What the Wild need tonight is for Stalock to stand tall in his crease, and be the superhero of his choice tonight on All Hallow’s Eve.

Dreams and nightmares are a part of life. And hopefully tonight, it’s more dream than nightmare. More full-size Snickers bars over candy corn and peanut kisses.