The Minnesota Wild take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild have lost five of their last 6 games including 2 straight on home ice. Oh yeah, they’ve been shut out in 3 of their last 4 as well. Nice time for the wheels to come off the playoff wagon eh’? I’m gonna put this as simply as possible for the Wild players, and fans. The goal is simple tonight, JUST SCORE SOME GOALS. The defense is playing just fine. When your D is giving up an average of 1 goal a game over the last 3 and have allowed an average of 2.48 goals per game over 40 games this season. The problem is scoring. The problem right now is scoring. The Wild are not scoring goals, am I making my self clear here? Minnesota is scoring an average of 2.48 goals per game. NO THAT’S NOT A TYPO. The Wild’s goals against average and goals scored average per game are identical at 2.48 each. Tough to make a lot of headway in a super competitive Western Conference with numbers like that. Currently the Wild are in 7th place, just 1 point ahead of the 8th place Red Wings, just 3 points ahead of Dallas, Phoenix, and Columbus in 9th 10th and 11th place who all have 43 points. The Wild are on the verge of another late season slide out of playoff contention. Minnesota can just about forget the Northwest conference title. This little slide has taken that out of reach with the Vancouver Canucks up 6 points with 8 games to play. Not that it can’t be done, just more likely it won;t be done. That leaves the 4th through 8th spots in the Conference as possibilities. Right now the Wild are trailing Los Angeles with 50 points, San Jose with 49, and St. Louis with 48.
That brings up to tonight’s little game with the Blue Jackets who spanked the Blues last night 4-1. Remember that goal tender Elliott for St. Louis that we couldn’t beg, borrow or steal a goal against? He sat last night while something called Jake Allen played and gave up 4 goals on 19 shots. That kept St. Louis within reach but allowed the Blue Jackets to creep up to just 3 points behind the Wild. We shut these guys out last weekend and have taken two from them this season. It’s time to take care of business on home ice and sweep the season series. Wild Coach Mike Yeo is playing coy on the lineup for tonight’s game. Jason Zucker has been summoned from Houston, Ryan Suter and Matt Cullen are listed as day to day and at a minimum the Wild have 7 healthy defensemen. Not having Suter on the ice tonight would be a big loss, especially with his offensive, defensive, power play and penalty kill abilities. That would be tough to over come but he still have a damn good offensive corps with out him.. My concern is the almost total lack of scoring. The Wild haven’t found the back of the net in aver 121 minutes. Keep the puck in the offensive zone, knock Marian Gaborik and his line mates on their ass, let Zenon Konopka pop someone in the mouth and we should be just fine tonight.
The goal tenders on both teams are excellent, so don;t be expecting many soft goals. Sergei Bobrovsky and Niklas Backstrom are both on their game right now. Backy just needs some GOAL SUPPORT FROM HIS TEAM MATES. Tonight comes down to puck control, shots on goal and finishing chances. The Wild need to kick it up a notch or three and really put some offensive pressure on Coumbus. We’ve done it twice this season, let’s do it again. GonePuckWild.com will be back after the game with analysis and a recap of the action. Until then this is Scott Drain yelling, “SCORE SOME DAMN GOALS, LET”S GO WILD.”