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Minnesota Wild (4-8-0) 8pts 7th in the Central
2.42 Goals For Per Game (28th in the NHL)
3.58 Goals Against Per Game (27th in the NHL)
19% Power Play (19th in the NHL)
79.5% Penalty Kill (19th in the NHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #12 Eric Staal ~ 4G 4A = 8pts
2. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 4G 3A = 7pts
3. #77 Brad Hunt ~ 4G 3A = 7pts
4. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 2G 4A = 6pts
5. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 2G 4A = 6pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #19 Luke Kunin ~ 19 PIM’s
2. #36 Mats Zuccarello ~ 8 PIM’s
3. #38 Ryan Hartman ~ 8 PIM’s
1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (2-5-0) 3.92GAA .880%SP
2. #32 Alex Stalock (2-3-0) 2.49GAA .914%SP 1SO
St. Louis Blues (6-3-3) 15pts 3rd in the Central
3.08 Goals For Per Game (15th in the NHL)
3.17 Goals Against Per Game (16th in the NHL)
25.6% Power Play (6th in the NHL)
81.1% Penalty Kill (15th in the NHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #10 Brayden Schenn ~ 9G 4A = 13pts
2. #57 David Perron ~ 6G 6A = 12pts
3. #90 Ryan O’Reilly ~ 3G 9A = 12pts
4. #17 Jaden Schwartz ~ 1G 9A = 10pts
5. #27 Alex Pietrangelo ~ 4G 3A = 7pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #57 David Perron ~ 12 PIM’s
2. #19 Jay Bouwmeester ~ 8 PIM’s
3. #70 Oskar Sundqvist ~ 8 PIM’s
1. #50 Jordan Binnington (5-2-3) 2.67GAA .912%SP
2. #34 Jake Allen (1-1-0) 4.17GAA .849%SP
St. Louis Blues
This past weekend, it was decided that the lawn needed to be mowed just one more time before winter hit. However, with that last mow of the season comes other winterizing tasks that much be completed as well. Because the temps have been getting colder, one of those tasks was to unhook the garden hose from the exterior faucet. Hose has been disconnected and stowed away in the garage for next season. The next tasks involve running both the push mower and the lawn tractor so that they run out of gas. The last thing you want is to have gas sitting in the tanks for several months, not being used. We’ve had this issue with our snow blower. We’ve left gas in the tank and then not have it start when we need it when Mother Nature decides to dump enough snow to necessitate the use of the snow blower. Of course before you run the tanks dry, you need to decide where you want the lawn and yard equipment in the garage because for obvious reasons you want the snow blower as close to the garage door as possible and the lawn tractor can be in the back of the garage during winter.
Well considering that tonight is the second half of a back-to-back, I am currently writing this during the game against Dallas. Things need to get done, especially when there are other things going long. Just like we (and I’m sure many people in the Upper Midwest) were getting ready for winter. There simply won’t be time tomorrow for me to write this game preview. That’s the part about being a responsible adult that gets in the way of life sometimes. So as I’m hanging out last night on the Wild boards at http://www.hockeyforums.net, one of my fellow Wild fans made the observation that the the Dallas Stars are a hotter mess than Minnesota. Who would have thought that was even possible? Chasing Ben Bishop after the first period was a bit of a shock to me. I mean if this was the Wild, heck we can give up four goals and keep our goaltender in net. Well, whatever floats your boat Dallas. Turns out that the hot mess was really Minnesota. They went up 3-0 and we were feeling pretty good. Yet somehow the Wild ended up losing 6-3. Of course if you watched the game, you know how that happened. Just like every game this team plays, they’re incapable of playing a full 60 minutes of hockey. What’s even worse, is when you go up 3-0, you end up allowing Alexander Radulov to score a hat trick.
If there’s any bit of a “bright side” heading into tonight’s game against Saint Louis, it’s this. Now, I’m not usually one to celebrate an injury, but knowing that Vladimir Tarasenko has been placed on injured reserve and will be out of action for the next five months or so can only be a bit of a blessing. Yet, even without Tarasenko, the Blues still have plenty of fire power available to make things difficult for Minnesota. Amongst their top five scorers, they have 23 goals and 44 points. I’ll save you all the embarrassment of tallying the Wild’s top five goals and points, but needless to say, it doesn’t really compare. I will say though, I will be glad to not have to worry about Tarasenko. He always seemed to find a way to shine against Minnesota, so being without that particular threat is a good thing. However, the Wild need to figure out how to contain their other threats. While the Blues aren’t exactly tearing up the league when it comes to scoring, they’re not exactly shabby either. With Minnesota’s not so hot goals against per game, it certainly will make it easier for Saint Louis to score. I’m more concerned about their power play than their goals for per game than anything.
With goaltending, I would be completely shocked if Minnesota doesn’t have to go up against Jordan Binnington. While he’s not have the light’s out kind of season he had last season, he still has decent numbers. Plus, they don’t have a back-to-back in their schedule, so they’d be foolish not to start Binnington. What would be foolish, would be to start Jake Allen. There are times where I wonder if Allen is just a random guy in the arena who they say “hey, just dress up like a goaltender…you’ll be fine.” And with tomorrow being Halloween, a random guy dressing up like a goaltender sounds just about right. The other goaltender that I think of when I think of “random guys dressed up like goaltenders” would also be former Blues goaltender, Brian Elliott. Why do Saint Louis goaltenders remind me a lot of Philadelphia goaltenders? Was that too mean? Of course, I can add Alex Stalock to the category of random guys dressed up as goaltenders. Although, it’s not completely on Stalock either. I think the rest of team would qualify as not real hockey players last night either.
Yes, many of us are rushing to get ready for winter. Unfortunately that rushing for winter weather will soon morph into getting ready for the holidays. Even though they make the holiday shopping season start earlier and earlier every year, we always find ourselves waiting until the last possible moment. Well, we’ll be as ready as we possibly can.