Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues 4/10/21 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues 4/10/21 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

Wild

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues 4/10/21 @ 7:00PM CST at Xcel Energy Center

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Minnesota Wild (24-12-2)  50pts  3rd in Honda West

2.97 Goals For Per Game (13th in the NHL)

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

14.5% Power Play (27th in the NHL)

84.4% Penalty Kill (5th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #97 Kirill Kaprizov ~ 16G 18A = 34pts

2. #22 Kevin Fiala ~ 14G 11A = 25pts

3. #18 Jordan Greenway ~ 5G 19A = 24pts

4. #36 Mats Zuccarello ~ 6G 16A = 22pts

5. #14 Joel Eriksson Ek ~ 13G 7A = 20pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #21 Carson Soucy ~ 45 PIM’s

2. #18 Jordan Greenway ~ 44 PIM’s

3. #24 Matt Dumba ~ 38 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #33 Cam Talbot (12-6-2)  2.44GAA  .923%SP  2SO

2. #34 Kaapo Kahkonen (12-7-0)  2.69GAA  .909%SP  2SO

Vs.

 

St. Louis Blues (17-16-6)  40pts  5th in Honda West

2.85 Goals For Per Game (16th in the NHL)

3.10 Goals Against Per Game (22nd in the NHL)

18.1% Power Play (23rd in the NHL)

76.6% Penalty Kill (24th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #57 David Perron ~ 13G 26A = 39pts

2. #90 Ryan O’Reilly ~ 16G 22A = 38pts

3. #10 Brayden Schenn ~ 12G 15A = 27pts

4. #25 Jordan Kyrou ~ 10G 15A = 25pts

5. #47 Torey Krug ~ 1G 21A = 22pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #13 Kyle Clifford ~ 28 PIM’s

2. #10 Brayden Schenn ~ 25 PIM’s

3. #12 Zach Sanford ~ 23 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #50 Jordan Binnington (12-11-5)  2.65GAA  .910%SP

2. #35 Ville Husso (6-5-1)  3.58GAA  .883%SP

Lines:

St. Louis Blues

Schwartz~B. Schenn~Tarasenko

Blais~O’Reilly~Perron

Sanford~Thomas~Bozak

Clifford~Barbashev~Kyrou

Krug~Faulk

Scandella~Dunn

Walman~Parayko

Binnington

Husso

Minnesota Wild

Greenway~Eriksson Ek~Kaprizov

Fiala~Rask~Bonino

Johansson~Hartman~Zuccarello

Parise~L. Johnson~Rau

Suter~Spurgeon

Brodin~Soucy

Cole~Hunt

Talbot

Kahkonen

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Saturdays are days you’re supposed to be able to sleep in, right? Well here I am, up before I wanted to be. I had to get Derek off to a weekend high school tennis event and I had to write this darn thing. I guess the only positive thing about being up, is at least I’m not dealing with customers and having to be pleasant and helpful. I’m sitting here in my quiet house, drinking a glorious cup of Vietnamese pour-over coffee, waiting for that blessed caffeine to kick in. There are days though, that I might need two cups of coffee before I’m feeling human. Today might be one of those days. I feel like everything about yesterday set me up for this feeling. Picking up grocery order. Going to the post office. Going to the adult beverage store. Making dinner. Watching a shitshow of a Wild game. And then to top everything off, while I was very tired, it was the kind of tired where I knew if I crawled into bed, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. So I stayed up until midnight, and guess what? Yeah, I couldn’t fall asleep. I even had a wonderful adult beverage before last night’s game, that clocked in at 7.63%. I should have slept like a baby. Nope. So coffee it is today.

Games like last night’s, definitely don’t help with how I feel today. From the very first puck drop, you could tell things weren’t going to go right. Everyone had that perpetually lost look on their face. If you want to know what look I’m talking about, take a look at Kirill Kaprizov. Now, while he is not lost, his face has this kind of innocence that could be construed as being lost. But even he was unable to generate much of anything. Heck, the lone Wild goal last night came from Zach Parise with the single assist by Carson Soucy. If that isn’t the blind leading the blind, I don’t know what is. About the only thing Soucy has been good for lately has been generating penalty minutes, which is not something you want to be known for. These are not fighting majors. These are usually dumb penalties that could have easily been avoided. And Parise? He’s been pretty invisible this season, so not much there to talk about. I highly doubt that goal is about to jump start his season.

Like I said in yesterday’s preview, I was not surprised by how the Blues game out. They had a full tank of gas and never let up on the gas pedal. It’s like that classic scene in The Blues Brothers:

St. Louis was ready. Minnesota was not. And it showed. It showed in every category. From +/-, to goals, to shots on goal, to goaltending. You had to feel bad for Kaapo Kahkonen, as he got absolutely no support from his skaters. No, he wasn’t at his best either, as he looked a bit slow in his movements. But when there’s nothing in front of you, even a future Hall of Fame goaltender will be made to look like the worst goaltender ever. While I’m sure there were people yelling at their TV, radio, or computer asking head coach Dean Evason to pull him and out Cam Talbot in, the back-to-back situation pretty much prevents that. My guess too, is that based on what Evason saw on the ice and in the locker room told him that making the switch wouldn’t make one iota of difference. At least Kahkonen didn’t pitch a fit like Patrick Roy did in Montreal back when Mario Trembley was the head coach for the Canadiens.

I’d like to hope that last night was a wake up call. Kind of like Monday’s game against Colorado was. A bad showing was followed up with an 8-goal night by the Wild on Wednesday. And when you consider that last night now marks the most goals scored on the Wild in franchise history, that should be an epic kick in the pants. And there’s a possibility that Minnesota will get a shot in the arm. Coming on the trip to St. Louis is Marcus Foligno, who has been out with an injury since March 12th. Getting a bigger player, who has definitely contributed offensively this season, would be a definite plus. Add to the fact that he’s a leader, even though he doesn’t have that extra letter on his jersey. I don’t know what it is about having his presence on the ice, but it makes me feel more comfortable and confident. Sure, he’s not going to win any of the NHL’s annual awards, but he’s knows his role and he plays it well. Every team needs its role players, and he plays his almost to perfection.

I don’t know if Minnesota has it in them to rectify what happened last night. I’d like to think they do, but this isn’t always the most dependable team. But then as Minnesota sports fans, are we not best-prepared for the foibles of this team? Do we not say “I’ll believe it when I see it”? So, we shall see. Until then, I need more coffee.

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