Game preview from Hockey Wilderness. Be sure to check out the game thread tonight for full lineups and the Five Questions for the night.
If ever there were a team that the Wild should beat, and beat badly, this is it. While they are all in the NHL for a reason, once you get past the first line of the lineup above, there aren’t many names anyone outside of the Islanders fan base will recognize. Mark Katic? Al Montoya? Yikes.
The Wild will go into this one with a clear vision of a victory. The problem is, in games like this, teams often overlook their opponent and wind up looking silly in the process. The Wild cannot overlook anyone on the roster, and will have to play like they are playing the Red Wings. Crushing a weaker opponent is okay. It really is.
The Wild have fallen out of playoff position in the past two games, and they need to stop the bleeding. This is a perfect game to do so, and with the Rangers tomorrow, could come out of New York with a winning streak. All they need to do is know they can win, and then go out and do it.
The domination the Wild once held versus Eastern opponents is gone with a 5-6-1 record this season, but these are two very beatable teams, especially tonight’s opponent. If the Wild lose to the Isles, they need to go on some kind of retreat and find themselves, because any team that can beat Vancouver had better be able to beat the Islanders.
What do they have to do to win tonight? Show up. No, really. Show up. They didn’t show up against Chicago until it was too late. While the Isles are not the Hawks, the Wild still need to come out fast and play hard. Otherwise, they will roll into Manhattan with an embarrassment around their necks.