Minnesota Wild (24-13-3) 51pts 3rd in Honda West
2.95 Goals For Per Game (13th in the NHL)
2.70 Goals Against Per Game (12th in the NHL)
15.1% Power Play (27th in the NHL)
84% Penalty Kill (5th in the NHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #97 Kirill Kaprizov ~ 16G 18A = 34pts
2. #18 Jordan Greenway ~ 5G 19A = 24pts
3. #36 Mats Zuccarello ~ 6G 16A = 22pts
4. #14 Joel Eriksson Ek ~ 13G 7A = 20pts
5. #38 Ryan Hartman ~ 6G 11A = 17pts
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
1. #33 Cam Talbot (12-6-3) 2.45GAA .922%SP 2SO
2. #34 Kaapo Kahkonen (12-7-0) 2.69GAA .909%SP 2SO
Arizona Coyotes (19-19-5) 43pts 5th in Honda West
2.63 Goals For Per Game (23rd in the NHL)
3.07 Goals Against Per Game (20th in the NHL)
19.6% Power Play (20th in the NHL)
82.1% Penalty Kill (10th in the NHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #81 Phil Kessel ~ 15G 18A = 33pts
2. #83 Conor Garland ~ 10G 21A = 31pts
3. #9 Clayton Keller ~ 12G 18A = 30pts
4. #6 Jakub Chychrun ~ 12G 17A = 29pts
5. #8 Nick Schmaltz ~ 10G 16A = 26pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #67 Lawson Crouse ~ 42 PIM’s
2. #6 Jakub Chychrun ~ 32 PIM’s
3. #83 Conor Garland ~ 24 PIM’s
1. #35 Darcy Kuemper (7-7-2) 2.41GAA .914%SP 1SO
2. #32 Antti Rantta (5-4-2) 3.20GAA .913%SP
3. #31 Adin Hill (7-7-1) 2.89GAA .908%SP 1SO
4. #50 Ivan Prosvetov (0-0-0) 5.00GAA .813%SP
There are good surprises and there are bad surprises. Good surprises would be things like winning a contest. Or your boss telling you you’re getting a raise. Or finally being able to purchase a much-in-demand gaming console (yeah, we’re still trying to get our hands on a PS5, but to no avail). These are often the little things in life that just make the day better than it start out as. They can turn an average or bad day completely around. Then there are the bad surprises. Like a car accident or a sudden and expensive car repair. Or not getting the promotion or job you applied for. These are the surprises that are not so fun. They can make a day far from enjoyable to absolutely miserable. Yet there is the third kind of surprise. These are the “really, are you serious” kinds of surprises. They tend to be of the annoying, sarcastic variety. Today is one of those kinds of surprise days. Why, you ask? Well, surprise. It snowed. Here it is, mid-April, and there’s snow on the ground. Thankfully, it’s just a dusting, and only shows up on the grass and on the roofs of houses. Considering the past year we’ve had in the world, I think this is just Mother Nature’s way of giving us the proverbial middle finger. I’m just glad it’s not so much that we have to fill the gas tank after we ran the tank dry to store it over summer.
It’s the surprises that catch us off guard and create inconveniences in our daily lives, that are probably the ones we dislike the most. As humans, we don’t like inconveniences, and we can be rather vocal about them. We’re going to talk about those today, because some hockey fans out there need a reality check. We try to not get get political here, but I don’t think it can be avoided. I’ve seen the comments on Twitter, and some of them truly disgust me. Seeing what people have said in regards to Monday’s postponed game against St. Louis and then today’s unexpected matinee game, are completely uncalled for. Yes, I realize that some of you season ticket holders are not sure if you’ll be compensated for today’s game that you can’t attend due to work. However, let me ask you this, would you rather lose money or lose your (or a loved ones) life? The recent death of Daunte Wright by a police officer in Brooklyn Center came as emotions are already running high as it’s happening at the same time as the trial for the former police officer who murdered George Floyd. I’m not sorry you’re inconvenienced. You’ll still go home at night.
So here we are. I don’t even want to really talk about this game. I feel like right now, things aren’t quite going the way the Wild want. The two games in St. Louis definitely didn’t go the way the Wild wanted or needed. There was so much about them, that I’d rather forget. However, they’re the kind of games no can or should forget about. Between the Blues and tonight’s opponent, Minnesota could see themselves in a world of hurt. Right now, the Arizona Coyotes are just behind the Blues by one point. With the postponement of Monday’s game between the Wild and Blues, the Coyotes definitely have the chance to overtake St. Louis. I would not be surprised one bit if Arizona came out with some pep in their step, because this is their chance to get into the top four in the Honda West division.
How will they do that? Well it seems that Arizona has gotten a boost from their taxi squad. For teams like Minnesota who have had extensive use of their taxi squad, first due to Covid-19 and more recently due to injuries, we have gotten quite familiar with the guys on the squad. There have been some surprises along the way, and no team exemplifies that surprise more than Arizona. If you don’t believe me, take a look at Michael Bunting. In the eight games he’s played since being called up from the taxi squad, he has an amazing 6 goals and 1 assist. For most of us, we expect our taxi squad to fill a roster spot, not allow a bloodbath, and maybe, just maybe, contribute a goal. I’d be curious to see if any other taxi squad player across the league has generated as much offense as Bunting. And it’s not just the goals. He’s earned himself a spot on the top line with Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland. Oh, and those six goals? Well three of them have come on the power play, so Minnesota would be wise to shadow Bunting closely. Oh, and how about not taking pointless penalties? I’m looking at you Carson Soucy. And if you’re wondering where Bunting came from, he was a 4th round pick (117th overall) in 2014.
This game starts right around my lunch break. I’m hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about this team, is that they’re full of surprises. Unfortunately, they’re not always good surprises.