Minnesota Wild (26-21-3) 55pts 3rd in the Central
2.82 Goals For Per Game (24th in the NHL)
2.82 Goals Against Per Game (8th in the NHL)
20.9% Power Play (13th in the NHL)
84.2% Penalty Kill (3rd in the NHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 20G 24A = 44pts
2. #64 Mikael Granlund ~ 12G 29A = 41pts
3. #12 Eric Staal ~ 17G 19A = 36pts
4. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 6G 27A = 33pts
5. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 8G 21A = 29pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #36 Nick Seeler ~ 41 PIM’s
2. #17 Marcus Foligno ~ 33 PIM’s
3. #29 Greg Pateryn ~ 31 PIM’s
1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (20-16-3) 2.57GAA .913%SP 1SO
2. #32 Alex Stalock (6-5-0) 2.92GAA .894%SP
Dallas Stars (25-21-4) 54pts 4th in the Central
2.54 Goals For Per Game (29th in the NHL)
2.56 Goals Against Per Game (2nd in the NHL)
20.4% Power Play (14th in the NHL)
83.2% Penalty Kill (6th in the NHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #91 Tyler Seguin ~ 18G 27A = 45pts
2. #47 Alexander Radulov ~ 14G 27A = 41pts
3. #14 Jamie Benn ~ 19G 16A = 35pts
4. #3 John Klingberg ~ 6G 19A = 25pts
5. #90 Jason Spezza ~ 6G 15A = 21pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #45 Roman Polak ~ 49 PIM’s
2. #14 Jamie Benn ~ 38 PIM’s
3. #47 Alexander Radulov ~ 36 PIM’s
1. #30 Ben Bishop (17-12-2) 2.29GAA .924%SP 3SO
2. #35 Anton Khudobin (8-9-2) 2.46GAA .923%SP 1SO
Hey all, Theresa here. I’m going to start out today’s preview with a bit of a disclaimer due to a rant I’m about to make. If you don’t support the #MeToo movement or for some ridiculous reason you were offended or your flawed sense of masculinity was threatened by the recent Gillette razor commercial, I suggest you click away now, or at least skip the next paragraph. You were warned.
So as Wild fans, we’ve been enjoying some extra time off. Between the All-Star Game and the Wild’s bye week, it’s been a slow week for us. I’ll admit, I can’t be bothered by the All-Star Game and I didn’t watch a lot of hockey since the Wild’s last game. However, what has made a bit of news in recent days was the debut of former Northeastern University Huskies and current Minnesota Whitecaps players, Kendall Coyne in an NBC broadcast role. Coyne joined Pierre McGuire in the between the benches role during Wednesday’s Lightning-Penguins game. What caught most people was McGuire decided to point out which team was which. Really Pierre? You think a person who has been playing hockey for most of her life needs to have that explained to her? It clearly points out, that while we as women have made great strides in our careers and achievements, we still face misogyny on a regular basis whether passive or aggressive. And it seems that Coyne didn’t even realize it was happening until it was pointed out to her after the fact. But that’s just the thing. As women, we are conditioned to not even realize that misogyny is right in front of our face and if we do notice it, not to comment or react to it. Don’t believe me? Look at elections. How often is it when there’s a female candidate, someone on the opposition’s (usually a male) campaign makes some comment about how women are “emotional” and how they wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of the position if elected. Now Coyne has been very gracious since the incident and has stated that she wasn’t offended by McGuire’s comments. But here’s the thing. If she ever wants to move into broadcasting when her playing career is over, she will not say anything. We’re “trained” to not rock the boat, because if we do, we’re accused of being “emotional” or “over-sensitive”. I’ve seen interesting comments on YouTube regarding this, however if it was a male player down with McGuire, I can pretty much guarantee you that the conversation would have been very different. Although when McGuire involved, there’s going to be at least one awkward moment.
Okay, rant over. It is now put up or shut up time for the Minnesota Wild. With as much time off as they’ve had, I wanted to see how many games in hand they had compared with the rest of the Central Division. The crazy thing is, there are virtually none. Minnesota has played 50 games, and that seems to be a bit part for the course for the division. The only team who has played fewer is Saint Louis with 49 and the team who has played the most is Nashville with 52. The rest of the division is sitting at 50 or 51. What is even crazier, is that the Wild have managed to hold on to third place in the division even having been on their bye week break. Once you hit the All Star break, you pretty much reach the point of no return in the season. There’s very little wiggle room when it comes to making mistakes. You can’t afford to have an “off” night. And now that we’ve passed the All Star break, there’s one more deadline before the end of the regular season, that being the upcoming trade deadline. I would say now the next few games go for Minnesota will determine their buyer or seller status.
I can’t say I’m exactly pleased that the Wild’s first game after the break is not only against the Dallas Stars but in Dallas as well. The Stars are coming off a 1-0 home win against the Buffalo Sabres. In that game, goaltender Ben Bishop stopped all 30 shots by the Sabres. While the Stars clearly lack in scoring, they’re not shying away from team defense with the number two goals against per game in the National Hockey League. The Wild’s goals per game isn’t much better than the Stars, so this game is going to come down to goaltending and overall team defense. In both categories, Dallas is the clearly better team. Plus, considering that Devan Dubnyk was playing in the All Star Game, Bishop got a little extra time off. Sure, Dubnyk had some time off since the All Star Game, but imagine how nice it would have been for him to have the extended time off. He’s had some rough games, where it’s clear he’s not seeing the puck or able to move as he needs to. But then I’ll admit, I’d be a bit concerned too if he had the entire time off as well. When you can’t always trust the guy between the pipes, I honestly can’t say what Dubnyk we’re going to see tonight. And if you’re not sure if you can trust your goaltender, let us not forget that this is a team that tends to play poorly after an extended break.
At least this first game back, we’re being spared an NBCSN broadcast. Even on the best day, it’s tough to stomach McGuire’s comments on any game. While I doubt his comments were intentional, they were definitely a product of society. And when it comes to professional sports, his poor choice of words were more a reflection of that society rather than his personal beliefs. He’s the king of cringe-worthy comments, but I think this time it illustrates not just how ridiculous he is on a regular basis, but the fact that there’s still a double standard when it comes to what woman should know about sports. Hopefully we all learn from this moment.