Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers 12/12/19 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers 12/12/19 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

NHL

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers 12/12/19 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

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Minnesota Wild (14-12-5)  33pts  6th in the Central

2.94 Goals For Per Game (17th in the NHL)

3.23 Goals Against Per Game (26th in the NHL)

18.3% Power Play (17th in the NHL)

78.3% Penalty Kill (21st in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 11G 10A = 21pts

2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 12G 6A = 18pts

3. #36 Mats Zuccarello ~ 7G 10A = 17pts

4. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 3G 14A = 17pts

5. #22 Kevin Fiala ~ 6G 10A = 16pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #38 Ryan Hartman ~ 42 PIM’s

2. #24 Matt Dumba ~ 31 PIM’s

3. #19 Luke Kunin ~ 21 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #32 Alex Stalock (8-4-2)  2.91GAA  .906%SP  1SO

2. #31 Kaapo Kahkonen (2-0-1)  1.95GAA  .947%SP

 

Vs.

 

Edmonton Oilers (18-11-4)  40pts  1st in the Pacific

2.97 Goal For Per Game (15th in the NHL)

2.97 Goals Against Per Game (14th in the NHL)

31.6% Power Play (1st in the NHL)

84.6% Penalty Kill (7th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #97 Connor McDavid ~ 19G 36A = 55pts

2. #29 Leon Draisaitl ~ 19G 35A = 54pts

3. #44 Zack Kassian ~ 11G 10A = 21pts

4. #18 James Neal ~ 14G 6A = 20pts

5. #77 Oscar Klefbom ~ 2G 17A = 19pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #44 Zack Kassian ~ 43 PIM’s

2. #25 Darnell Nurse ~ 24 PIM’s

3. #74 Ethan Bear ~ 20 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #19 Mikko Koskinen (11-4-2)  2.72GAA  .914%SP  1SO

2. #41 Mike Smith (7-7-2)  2.88GAA  .903%SP  1SO

Lines:

Edmonton Oilers

Neal~McDavid~Archibald

Khaira~Draisaitl~Gagner

Mrk. Granlund~Haas~Chiasson

Nygard~Sheahan~P. Russell

Nurse~Bear

Klefbom~Persson

K. Russell~Larsson

Koskinen

Smith

Minnesota Wild

Zucker~Kunin?~Zuccarello

Parise~Donato~Fiala

Greenway~Eriksson Ek~Hartman

Foligno~Rask~Sturm?

Suter~Dumba

Soucy~Brodin

Hunt~Menell

Stalock

Kahkonen

 

Okay, today’s intro is going to be a little more for you Gen X and older readers here. Because unless you were alive (and old enough to remember) in 1993, your understanding of who Susan Powter is. In the 90s, you couldn’t avoid seeing her on her frequent infomercials. She was the 90s version of Jillian Michaels, pedaling fitness and weight loss, a topic that just doesn’t go away. Every decade or generation will have their own fitness guru, and Powter was that person. With her extremely short hair and piercing eyes, she would yell at the screen “stop the insanity.” The idea was to stop the insanity of fad diets and come to her version of healthy weight loss and exercise. Her catchphrase was one of the catchphrases of the day. And it’s one of those catchphrases that has lived in the memories of those of us who lived through those halcyon days of Guess Jeans and Nirvana.

“Stop the insanity” is one of those phrases that can easily apply to the Minnesota Wild. Don’t believe me? Re-watch the Wild’s power play during overtime on Tuesday night. That was textbook demonstration of insanity. Seriously, that had to be one of the worst power plays I’ve seen in a long time. I’m sure there’s someone out there who will reply to me “yeah, but the Corsi on that power play was great.” I’m sorry but possession is only really valuable when you actually do something with said possession. I’m truly sick and tired of these so-called analytics experts, who spin a tale of how great a player is based on their Corsi or Fenwick numbers based on possession, but don’t have the goals and assists. And the fact that every team has an analytics guru on the team, that feels like a bunch of insanity. Sure, the Wild were able to maintain possession of the puck during the power play, but they did absolutely nothing with that possession.

Then if that wasn’t insane enough, then there were the post-game interviews on Tuesday night. During the various interviews, Zach Parise had the audacity to complain about coaching and how they don’t spend a lot of time practicing 4-on-3 overtime power plays. Excuse me? You and your teammates are professional athletes, who have been playing hockey for most of your life, and you don’t know how to handle the power play during overtime? I’m glad that head coach Bruce Boudreau actually dished a little bit of shade back at his forward, stating that they do practice the power play over, and over, and over again. There’s a reason Zach, that there are fans out there (myself included) that call it the “powerless play” instead. Again, our power play isn’t something to write home about, and most opposing teams shouldn’t really stress about it. And guess what Zach, you had other chances on the power play that weren’t during the overtime. Again, not much to show for the power play. Stop blaming your coach and blame yourselves. That is where the blame goes.

In other examples of “insanity” now is time for some tempering of some fans expectations. Truly, I hope you’re sitting down, because when Derek told me this I couldn’t believe what he was telling me. He was perusing Twitter, and came across a tweet that anointed “a star is born” status to Kaapo Kahkonen. I kid you not folks. The creator of said tweet, is the kind of person you want to sit down in a chair and ask them some serious questions. Come on, Kahkonen has played a whopping THREE games. Sure, he’s 2-0-1 with a 1.95GAA and .947 SV%. But please remember, it’s three games. We also thought Matt Hackett, Josh Harding and Darcy Kuemper were the future for a while as well. Don’t get me wrong, I really want Kahkonen to be the real deal. But let’s just calm down because if you don’t, I’m going to need to yell “stop the insanity” at you as well, although perhaps it’s a message this particular Twitter user needs to hear.

I think it’s also insane that the Edmonton Oilers also have two players with 19 goals each. Keeping Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl contained will be a bit difficult. And even if you manage to contain those two, they have enough other players who can score as well. Yet for all the offensive talent the Oilers have, their goals for per game is not as high as you would think it would be. Again, that’s insane. Yet while the goals for per game isn’t as high as you would think it was, they are an absolute threat and terror on the power play. Maybe Parise can learn a thing or three about the power play, since he claims he’s not being appropriately coached on how to play during the power play.

There’s a lot about this Wild team that makes little to no sense. And you know what, I’m done with trying to make sense of it. To take the time to try and make sense of the senseless, now that would be insanity.

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