Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks 2/6/20 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks 2/6/20 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Wild

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks 2/6/20 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

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Minnesota Wild (24-22-6)  54pts  7th in the Central

3.06 Goals For Per Game (15th in the NHL)

3.31 Goals Against Per Game (29th in the NHL)

20.4% Power Play (11th in the NHL)

74% Penalty Kill (30th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #12 Eric Staal ~ 17G 22A = 39pts

2. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 7G 29A = 36pts

3. #11 Zach Parise ~ 19G 13A = 32pts

4. #36 Mats Zuccarello ~ 14G 16A = 30pts

5. #22 Kevin Fiala ~ 11G 19A = 30pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #38 Ryan Hartman ~ 54 PIM’s

2. #19 Luke Kunin ~ 48 PIM’s

3. #18 Jordan Greenway ~ 39 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (9-13-2)  3.40GAA  .890%SP  1SO

2. #32 Alex Stalock (12-8-3)  2.88GAA  .904%SP  2SO

 

Vs.

 

Vancouver Canucks (30-19-5)  65pts  1st in the Pacific

3.22 Goals For Per Game (10th in the NHL)

2.98 Goals Against Per Game (13th in the NHL)

22.7% Power Play (8th in the NHL)

81.6% Penalty Kill (13th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #40 Elias Pettersson ~ 23G 32A = 55pts

2. #9 J.T. Miller ~ 20G 33A = 53pts

3. #6 Brock Boeser ~ 16G 29A = 45pts

4. #53 Bo Horvat ~ 17G 27A = 44pts

5. #70 Tanner Pearson ~ 15G 24A = 39pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #23 Alexander Edler ~ 56 PIM’s

2. #9 J.T. Miller ~ 36 PIM’s

3. #83 Jay Beagle ~ 36 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #25 Jacob Markstrom (20-14-3)  2.74GAA  .917%SP  1SO

2. #35 Thatcher Demko (10-5-2)  2.92GAA  .909%SP

Lines:

Vancouver Canucks

Pearson~Horvat~Eriksson

Miller~Pettersson~Virtanen

Roussel~Gaudette~Boeser

Schaller~Beagle~Sutter

Edler~Stecher

Q. Hughes~Tanev

Fantenberg~Myers

Markstrom

Demko

Minnesota Wild

Parise~Staal~Zuccarello

Zucker~Kunin~Fiala

Greenway~Eriksson Ek~Foligno

Donato~Koivu~Hartman

Suter~Spurgeon

Brodin~Dumba

Soucy/Pateryn?~Hunt

Dubnyk

Stalock

 

Going through the motions. It’s a feeling we’ve all experienced in our lives. It’s also a feeling that we’re not particularly fond of, but that’s life. For some of us, this happens in our work life. For others, it’s our personal life. And when you’re really deep into the feeling of going through the motions, it happens in both your work and personal lives at the same time. For myself, right now I’m having this feeling in my work life. I love my job, but it’s my schedule that is absolutely killing me right now. Right now, I’m assigned a 1:30pm until 10:30pm shift. When I finish my shift, no matter how tired I may be, I can’t fall asleep right away, so I end up staying up until about 2:00am. The idea is that I will sleep in, but for whatever reason, I am waking up around 7:00am. I’ve had this schedule since just after the New Year, but my body and mind have yet to really adjust to it, and I’m feeling it. Running on fumes is certainly not helping the feeling of going through the motions. This schedule is also making it feel like Derek and I see very little of each other. Early July can’t come soon enough.

When it comes to the Minnesota Wild, we’ve definitely felt that they’ve been going through the motions the entire season, if not longer. To start off, we never know what team we’re going to get on a nightly basis. Will they play cringe-worthy embarrassing hockey? Will they play mind-numbing, sleepy hockey? Or, will they actually play hockey? The worst examples of any of these is when they return from a long break, and look like the team that’s been on a 10 game road trip. We saw that last Saturday against Boston. The only “win” in that game, is that we didn’t allow Torey Krug to tally the hat-trick. But other than that, it was a loss all-around, and the 6-1 final score truly cemented that loss. The 3-2 win against Chicago could have easily been a loss as well. The Blackhawks aren’t that much better than the Wild these days, but with how Minnesota is just going through the motions, I seriously thought they would come out and look like utter rubbish. Plus with Chicago, there’s the mental part of the game, and this Minnesota team isn’t strong enough mentally to remember that the Blackhawks are about as bad as they are.  Carson Soucy is sick and according to Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau will be “a game-time decision.”

Tonight’s opponent, the Vancouver Canucks, have definitely been turning things around. In some recent seasons, they’ve been having some seasons like the Wild. However, they’re actually doing something about their poor play, and the hard work has paid off. Vancouver is now sitting atop the Pacific Division. But what is absolutely crazy about that first place position in the Pacific Division, is that when it comes to the league as a whole, the Canucks are in tenth place. That is definitely an indictment of the level of play of the Pacific Division. At least the Saint Louis Blues, the Central Division leader, is sitting in third place in the league. Yet even with the low position of the Pacific Division leader, they are still eleven points ahead of Minnesota. Seriously folks, that is just how bad things are for the Wild.

The comparisons get even worse. When you look at the Wild’s top scorer, Eric Staal and his 39 points, to find that comparison as far as points go, you have to look at Vancouver’s number 5 scorer, Tanner Pearson. What’s crazy about that comparison, is that Pearson is also on his team’s top line. Vancouver’s top scorer, Elias Pettersson, is on the second line.

In fact, none of the top three scorers of the Canucks are on the top line. But as crazy as those stats and positions are, Vancouver overall isn’t doing too poorly when it comes to scoring. Offensively, the Canucks aren’t too shabby. They’re 10th overall when it comes to goals for per game and 8th overall when it comes to the power play. It’s their defensive stats that have “hurt” Vancouver, but even those are very respectable. In fact, they’re about what you would expect for the team in tenth place in the league.

It’s hard to say what we’ll see tonight. At this point, I won’t be surprised if they just go through the motions or if they come out and look like a hockey team. But even if they do come out and look like a hockey team, it will still be a hockey team that is sitting in 7th place in the Central Division.

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