Game preview from our friends at Hockey Wilderness. Make sure to join the game thread to see the lineups, and the Five Questions of the night.
I wish I could tell I thought the Wild had a chance tonight, so I will. They have a chance. Just not a very good one. After last night’s game, and the TOI some of the big guys put in, they can’t help but be tired tonight. Agaisnt a very good Ducks team with a top line the Wild constantly struggle with, and two of the most annoying players in the NHL in Rutuu and Lapierre.
The good news for the Wild? The Ducks traded for some Dan Ellis problems, meaning the Wild have a good chance to score some goals. That’s not to say Ellis is a bad goalie, but he is just isn’t a very good goalie. Get him frustrated, and he’ll cough up ten or twelve before Ray Emery can even pick a fight.
The key tonight will be to do their best to forget about last night, and find a way to fight through the heavy legs they are likely to have. The defense needs to shut down that top line, because if they do, the Wild can win, even with little offense.
With Jose Theodore in, at least the goalie is fresh. Protect him, keep the shots outside, and play the game they can play. On the back side of a back-to-back, still missing Koivu and Brodziak… this could be rough. But hey, Warren Peters is up, so all is well, right?
A loss tonight puts the Wild in strong contention for dropping out of the playoff position. It will be a give and take the rest of the year, but they could really use a win tonight and the two point cushion. Winning is the answer to everything, and if they win without Brodziak and Koivu, then they can feel very good about themselves.
I just hope it isn’t too demoralizing.