Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Arizona Coyotes 11/10/21 @ 9:00PM CST at Gila River Arena

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Arizona Coyotes 11/10/21 @ 9:00PM CST at Gila River Arena

Wild

Game Preview: Minnesota Wild vs. Arizona Coyotes 11/10/21 @ 9:00PM CST at Gila River Arena

By ,

Minnesota Wild (8-3-0)  16pts  2nd in the Central

3.27 Goals For Per Game (7th in the NHL)

3.27 Goals Against Per Game (25th in the NHL)

17.7% Power Play (21st in the NHL)

75.6% Penalty Kill (23rd in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #24 Matt Dumba ~ 2G 7A = 9pts

2. #97 Kirill Kaprizov ~ 2G 7A = 9pts

3. #17 Marcus Foligno ~ 4G 4A = 8pts

4. #38 Ryan Hartman ~ 6G 1A = 7pts

5. #36 Mats Zuccarello ~ 3G 4A = 7pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #17 Marcus Foligno ~ 32 PIM’s

2. #21 Brandon Duhaime ~ 24 PIM’s

3. #24 Matt Dumba ~ 8 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #33 Cam Talbot (7-2-0)  2.85GAA  .904%SP

2. #34 Kaapo Kahkonen (1-1-0)  3.63GAA  .860%SP

 

Vs.

 

Arizona Coyotes (1-10-1)  3pts  8th in the Central

1.58 Goals For Per Game (32nd in the NHL)

4.00 Goals Against Per Game (32nd in the NHL)

10.7% Power Play (30th in the NHL)

65.8% Penalty Kill (30th in the NHL)

Top 5 Scorers:

1. #14 Shayne Gostisbehere ~ 1G 8A = 9pts

2. #67 Lawson Crouse ~ 4G 2A = 6pts

3. #9 Clayton Keller ~ 3G 2A = 5pts

4. #36 Christian Fischer ~ 2G 3A = 5pts

5. #81 Phil Kessel ~ 2G 3A = 5pts

Top 3 PIM’s:

1. #38 Liam O’Brien ~ 31 PIM’s

2. #67 Lawson Crouse ~ 22 PIM’s

3. #6 Jakub Chychrun ~ 20 PIM’s

Top Goaltenders:

1. #70 Karel Vejmelka (0-7-1)  2.60GAA  .920%SP

2. #50 Ivan Prosvetov (0-1-0)  5.00GAA  .821%SP

3. #31 Scott Wedgewood (0-1-0)  2.03GAA  .931%SP

Lines:

Arizona Coyotes

Crouse~Hayton~Keller

Jaskin~J. Larsson~Kessel

O’Brien~Beagle~Ladd

Roussel~Fischer~L. Eriksson

Chychrun~Mayo

Gostisbehere~Stralman

Lyubushkin~Soderstrom

Wedgewood

Vejmelka

Minnesota Wild

Kaprizov~Gaudreau~Zuccarello

M. Foligno~Eriksson Ek~Fiala

Duhaime~Sturm~Hartman

Bjugstad~Rask~R. Pitlick

Goligoski~Spurgeon

Brodin~Dumba

Merrill~Kulikov

Talbot

Kahkonen

 

It's A Trap! | Know Your Meme

For all of you sci-fi fans out there, you know this meme, and know it well. I don’t care if you’re not a fan of the Star Wars universe, you know the reference. Heck, even people who hate sci-fi know the reference. However, they may not know which series it comes from, but they’ve heard it. They may have even used the meme without knowing its background. They just know that Admiral Ackbar is some sort of non-human lifeform and is from some movie. I know I find it interesting to see how the meme or video clip is used to convey the point the person is trying to make. For me though, I tend to laugh when I see this meme, even though it comes from a pretty serious moment in Return of the Jedi. In fact, even in the movie I tend to laugh when I see the Admiral because I know of his “fame” on the internet.

In the world of sports however, the Admiral is used for pretty much one particular reason, and I’ll get to that. When it comes to the Minnesota Wild, the Admiral has been used for another reason. For those of you who have been with this team since its inception, you know all the “love” the rest of the league and its fans had for original head coach Jacques Lemaire and his utilization of the hated neutral zone trap. Memes weren’t as much of a thing in those early days, but yes we heard the classic Admiral Ackbar line “it’s a trap” when people would take about how boring the Wild were. However, that loathing became the haters own downfall. Because in the the world of sports, the Admiral Ackbar line of “it’s a trap” usually refers to games that are traps, and tonight’s game is the trappiest of trap games.

How much of a trap? Well the Arizona Coyotes are coming off their first win of the season. Yes, they’ve won only one game in 12 attempts. Of those 11 losses, ten were in regulation. Ouch. That one win came against Seattle on Saturday. Since then, they’ve had rest and practice. Also, for longtime fans of the Minnesota Wild, you know long breaks between games often does not bode well for the team. But most other teams, it is a pre benefit to have some time off. And they’ve needed the rest and practice. It’s given waiver-wire pickup goaltender Scott Wedgewood time to get accustomed to his new team. While it’s still early, and he only has one game under his belt with the Coyotes, there is a possibility we could be looking at Arizona’s new #1 goaltender supplanting Karel Vejmelka.

If you’ve been worried about scoring and defense of the Minnesota Wild, those worries have been nothing compared to those of Arizona. All season, offense and scoring have been a major issue for the Coyotes. They’re in last place in the league for both goals for per game and goals against per game. Not exactly a place you want to be. This is a team though that has speed and grit, but beyond Phil Kessel, they don’t have any finishers. The only Arizona forward who has really had any sort of decent start has be Lawson Crouse. He gives the Coyotes a big, agitating forward that opponents hate to play against. Minnesota will also have to contend with Antoine Roussel. This means that Minnesota has two lines that will annoy them with all sorts of shenanigans after the whistle. Unfortunately 6-year pro Clayton Keller has struggled to become an impact player night to night.

On the blueline, it hasn’t been roses either. Jakub Chychrun has had a miserable start. He didn’t register a point, until an assist in Saturday night’s win against Seattle. However, in his 12 games, he’s a -20. That’s not a number anyone wants to see this early in the season. Last season, he was an offensive threat, but this season teams are doing more to limit his chances to shoot the puck. Even with the opposition shutting him down most nights, the Coyotes need him to be more of a regular on the scoresheet if they’re going to have a chance to win. This is a team that clearly misses Oliver Ekman-Larsson who they traded to Vancouver along with Connor Garland for draft picks in return. To attmpt to replace Ekman-Larsson, Arizona brought in Shayne Gostisbehere from the Flyers. The former Union College standout has chipped in assists, however he turns over the puck a lot. Also, his effort lags in his own end of the ice offsetting the points he provides. The Coyotes are also missing the puck moving ability of Wild defensemen Alex Goligoski who left Arizona as a free agent this past summer.

As I mentioned earlier, this game has all the classic markings of being a trap game. Minnesota’s penchant for giving up the first goal is well documented. That’s the kind of thing that can make a bottom-feeding team like the Coyotes feel like they have a chance. The Wild’s biggest challenge tonight may simply be staying focused on winning this game and not allowing themselves to think ahead to tomorrow’s game in Vegas. After a 19-save win against the Islanders, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Kaapo Kahkonen gets the start tonight. He definitely needs the work, and with a game against a better opponent on Thursday night, it gives Cam Talbot a chance to rest up. The goaltender game can be a trap as well.

Thinking of Admiral Ackbar, it makes me realize that I haven’t watched Return of the Jedi in ages. Perhaps that will be on the agenda this weekend. I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but I do like those original three Star Wars movies. I have no real interest in any of the newer sequels and prequels that were made. But if given the choice of the Star Wars vs Star Trek debate that is out there, my answer is Babylon 5.

More Sports

More NHL