Wild At Canucks Preview: Knock 'Em Dead

Hannah Foslien

Lack starts again. Kesler and Tanev return to the lineup.

Time Friday, 7:00 PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 2-0 Wild
Last Meeting
3-2 Wild Dec.17/13
The Enemy Hockey Wilderness Scoring Leaders D. Sedin: 13-27-40
Pominville: 22-18-40

32-21-7 SEASON RECORD 28-24-9
71 POINTS 65
Won 3
6-2-2 LAST 10 2-8-0
11-14-5 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 15-9-5
1.07 (11) 5 ON 5 GF / GA DIFF. 0.95 (19)
18.1 (17) POWERPLAY % 13.7 (28)
81.0 (20) PENALTY KILL % 85.0 (4)

First of all, a word from Ryan Kesler:

I like how he said he doesn't want the media asking him about trade shit after today. He doesn't want to be a distraction and of course, being the guy he is, he wants the team to win. He wants to be playing to help. Consummate team guy. I hope he can get back into the lineup soon. He is needed here, badly. I think a good question here is: should we play Kesler anyway with half a hand and to that I say.....sure why not.

Even after a 1-0 win over the Blues, the Canucks still find themselves in 10th spot in the West. It's a dogfight out there. The teams just above Vancouver in the standings (except the up and down Coyotes in 9th spot) are rolling. 6th-place L.A. has won 3 in a row and rediscovered their scoring touch. The 7th-place Wild are 6 points up on the Canucks and have won 3 in a row. 8th-place Dallas has won 2 in a row and is 7-1-2 in their last 10. In a perfect world these teams tank down the stretch but that is not going to happen with some or most of them. The Canucks need that projected 14-4-4 record to close out the season with 95 points. The 1-0 win over the mighty Blues was a good start.

However, the Zanstorm Shitlist remains big. And by that I mean this team still has too many players not scoring points, right Hank and Dank and Burr? It's just a matter of time. God, the futility cannot continue or the Canucks will fail.

A good point from Tony Gallagher:

The Canucks have essentially said they’re teaching Kassian a lesson in how to mature on a team as a player, and that they don’t want to give him too much to soon and actually hurt his development. But they might be teaching themselves right out of playoff contention.

Would it not be worth at least a try, at least a game or two or three, to see if there is any way there might just be a shade of chemistry between them (Kassian and the Twins) — even if it’s only short-lived — particularly given the coach was saying Thursday "for us to get where we want to go we’re going to have to get some production."

It's worth a shot, I agree. And I am sure many fans want to see this happen.

Good to see Jannik Hansen bag one last game. He only had 1 goal and 1 assist in his previous 19 games.


From Hockey Wilderness:

The Wild were able to kill off all 4 Oiler power plays tonight but also came up empty on their own 2 power play chances.  Darcy Kuemper would earn the first star of the game with his shutout performance and Mikael Granlund would grab the second star with one goal on one recorded shot in 16:36 of ice time.  Matt Hendricks would get the third star because it's Edmonton and things don't have to make sense.

The Wild came out of the Olympic break looking a little rusty at times but overall played a nice road game which is not something we got a lot of early in the season and is something the Wild need to master for the remaining 22 games this season.  They have another opportunity to improve their road record tomorrow night in Vancouver against the Sedin twins and the Canucks.

Another little factoid / comment from that site:

Would we get the team we had in January and early February riding a two-game winning streak and going 11-4-2 into the break?  Or the dreadful 5-9-0 team we had in December?

Yea Minnesota we understand that dilemma.

This reminds me of Jarome Iginla during the second- last Canucks-Bruins matchup:

Yummy. That Clayton Stoner's bent finger after fighting Edmonton's Luke Gazdic last night.

Projected Wild Roster

Parise - Granlund - Pominville

Heatley - Coyle - Fontaine

Cooke - Brodziak - Niederreiter

Mitchell - Haula - Veilleux

Suter - Spurgeon

Brodin - Prosser

Ballard - Stoner

I'm guessing Backstrom starts against Van as Kuemper played last night.

Ryan Suter easily leads the NHL with time on ice per game (average) at 29:49.

By the way, both Canucks losses to the Wild this season came in extra time.

The last time these teams met:

Oh my God! They killed Stanton! Bastards!

This game preview post has been brought to you once again by Motley Crue:

Score-Predicting Wizards Update

Only the top dog Bobby Canuck got a point last game for calling Beaker to score the winner. So he gives himself a little breathing room on top of the standings.


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