Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Boston Bruins 4/4/19 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Boston Bruins 4/4/19 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Wild

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Boston Bruins 4/4/19 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

By

Minnesota Wild (37-34-9)  83pts  6th in the Central

2.63 Goals For Per Game (26th in the NHL)

2.84 Goals Against Per Game (12th in the NHL)

20.6% Power Play (13th in the NHL)

81.7% Penalty Kill (8th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 28G 33A = 61pts

2. #12 Eric Staal ~ 22G 30A = 52pts

3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 7G 40A = 47pts

4. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 14G 29A = 43pts

5. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 21G 21A = 42pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #36 Nick Seeler ~ 57 PIM’s

2. #17 Marcus Foligno ~ 55 PIM’s

3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 41 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (31-28-6)  2.54GAA  .913%SP  2SO

2. #32 Alex Stalock (6-6-3)  3.05GAA  .893%SP

 

Vs.

 

Boston Bruins (48-23-9)  105pts  2nd in the Atlantic

3.14 Goals For Per Game (11th in the NHL)

2.58 Goals Against Per Game (3rd in the NHL)

26.3% Power Play (3rd in the NHL)

80.1% Penalty Kill (17th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #63 Brad Marchand ~ 36G 64A = 100pts

2. #37 Patrice Bergeron ~ 32G 47A = 79pts

3. #88 David Pastrnak ~ 37G 41A = 78pts

4. #46 David Krecji ~ 19G 51A = 71pts

5. #47 Torey Krug ~ 6G 47A = 53pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #63 Brad Marchand ~ 96 PIM’s

2. #48 Matt Grzelcyk ~ 68 PIM’s

3. #33 Zdeno Chara ~ 57 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #40 Tuukka Rask (27-12-5)  2.42GAA  .915%SP  4SO

2. #41 Jaroslav Halak (21-11-4)  2.40GAA  .920%SP  4SO

Lines:

Boston Bruins

Marchand~Bergeron~Pastrnak

DeBrusk~Krecji~Kuhlman

Wagner~Coyle~Johansson

Nordstrom~Acciari~Backes

Chara~McAvoy

Krug~Carlo

Miller~Grzelcyk

T. Rask

Halak

Minnesota Wild

Parise?~Staal~Zucker

Donato~Eriksson Ek~Kunin

Greenway~V. Rask~Fiala

Brown~Fehr~Foligno

Suter~Spurgeon

Brodin~Hunt

Seeler~Pateryn

Dubnyk

Stalock

 

Several times over the years, I’ve talked about how my dad worked for Wisconsin Public Radio and Television. His job, definitely shaped my tastes in music and television. I listened to and watched things that many of my contemporaries did not. However, when it came to the children’s programs on PBS, the vast majority of people of my age bracket grew up watching such quality programs such as Sesame Street and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood when we were younger. As we grew older, we watched many of the educational programs in our classrooms to learn things about science and history as well as Reading Rainbow to help foster a love of learning. In late elementary school, I would race home (thankfully my childhood home was less than a block from my elementary school) to watch 3-2-1 Contact. Again, it was one of those shows that taught about science including the science of sports. Yet, I would say there are a few people that watched 3-2-1 Contact simply to catch the show-within-a-show, The Bloodhound Gang. But the part about 3-2-1 Contact that applies to today’s game, is the countdown aspect of the show’s name.

So here we are, with the penultimate game of the regular season. And wouldn’t you know it, both tonight and Saturday night are against playoff teams. Yippie. But here’s the thing, at this point we have absolutely no idea of what version of the Wild or what version of our opponents we’ll see. Minnesota had a great game against Winnipeg. We got a 2-goal game out of a returned Zach Parise. But we need to dig a little deeper when it comes to that victory. First off, Winnipeg had Eric Comrie in net. Had it been Connor Hellebuyck in net, I think we would have a seen a much different game. Hell, we didn’t even get the Jets’ number two goaltender, Laurent Brossoit. So yes, the Wild scored five goals against a division rival, but I would say there’s an asterisk after that win. The Jets have clinched an appearance in the playoffs, so they might as well give some of their big guns, especially Hellebuyck a night off so they’re ready for the playoffs.

Now while the spots in the Central Division have a little more wiggle room, the same cannot be said about the Atlantic Division. First off, no one is catching Tampa Bay, so Boston doesn’t need to play desperation style hockey to try and get a better playoff spot. They’re also six points ahead of Toronto, with two game each remaining. Boston can definitely afford to take the night off against Minnesota if they want to, because no one can catch them in the standings. Plus, considering that they’re traveling to Saint Paul, they might as well play back a bit. If you’re a playoff team, there’s no sense in risking injury. Heck, Minnesota can’t even play the role of spoiler with either of their remaining opponents. It honestly doesn’t matter if they start Tuukka Rask or Jaroslav Halak tonight. Of course, maybe they’ll pull a Winnipeg and pull a third goaltender out of their magic hat so both Rask and Halak can have the night off.

Making his NHL debut tonight will most likely be Nico Sturm. By the way, if you translate his German name into English, it would be Nick Storm, sounds like a good TV weatherman name. So with Sturm in, there a possibility that Parise could be out. Sure, he had a two goal game in his return, but just like playoff teams don’t want to risk injury, why would Minnesota want to risk another injury to Parise. Although, knowing our luck, Parise will call his own ice time and it will be someone like J.T. Brown who gets scratched so Sturm can make his debut. This is Minnesota, and we tend to do things that don’t make sense. Things that only serve to frustrate the fans. You know, like Ryan Suter continually on the power play doing nothing. I’d like to see Minnesota come out and play strong instead of playing with their tails between their legs, having a pity party of their own making for failing to make the postseason.

Since we’re near the end, I want to take a small moment to thank all of you who read our game previews and post game articles. Knowing that you’re all here reading is much appreciated. I know many of you share the same frustrations with this team as we do. And I would say we’re all looking forward to a break. Yes my friends, we can soon put this season to bed. We are officially in the final countdown. Speaking of the final countdown, I just had to:

More Sports

More Wild
Home