Game Preview: Minnesota Wild at Calgary Flames


The Minnesota Wild look to pick up speed as they take on the Flames tonight in Calgary at 8:00 P.M. CST. Tonight’s game is an absolute tone setting opportunity for the Wild. Calgary is currently holding the second wild card spot (7 points ahead of the Wild) in the Western conference and therefore are thee team Minnesota is chasing. A win for the Wild would mean a decrease in the point deficit, and a big step forward in their belief that making the play-offs is a reachable goal.

Devan Dubnyk will make the start again tonight for the Wild. Aside from the sloppy/unfortunate game against Detroit and the “Oh $%*$” moments behind the net against Edmonton, Dubnyk has made some huge saves and given the Wild a chance to win. Since Darcy Kuemper technically earned the shoot-out loss against Detorit, Dubnyk is 3-1 since joining the Wild. In those 4 games he stopped 86 of 91 shots, giving him a 94.5% save percentage. Look for Dubnyk to come up big tonight against the Flames who will likely prove a much stronger challenge for the Wild’s new hope between the pipes.

More from Wild News

According to Mike Russo at the Star Tribune Matt Dumba is on his way to Calgary from Iowa and is slotted to play tonight. Predictions were that he would play on the third line in place of Nate Prosser  who had a freaky head collision against one of the end-glass stanchions Tuesday night. However, Mike Yeo’s after practice presser made it sound like Folin will be the healthy scratch.

Regardless of who sits, Dumba will play his first NHL game in Alberta. Look for him to be extra inspired tonight, as the up-and-comer not only fights for his spot on the roster, but also looks to put on a show for his home town crowd. If you’re unfamiliar with his career timeline, here’s a place to start.  Good news for the Wild; Ryan Suter appearsto be preparing for TOI tonight after he missed yesterday’s practice with leg discomfort. Suter continues to play significantly high minutes every game. In light of his discomfort part of me wants to say, “look for Suter’s time to be decreased tonight”. But, if history is any sign, that will never happen. Matt Cooke is also reported to be back in Calgary after he flew home because of a death in his family. Thoughts go out to him, and his family. Hopefully he finds his time with the team cathartic.

Calgary is 6-4 in its last 10, but 5-1 in its last 6,  coming off of a 4-1 win over the Sabre’s on Tuesday night. Calgary is slotted to play its next 5 games at home, giving the club an opportunity to be comfortable as it seeks to strengthen its wild-card hold. Jonas Hiller will be in net as he looks to improve on his dominant record against the Wild (11-5-1). Johnny Gaudreau “Johnny Hockey” co-leads the Flames with Sean Monahan both having scored 15 goals. Mark Giordano is having a Norris trophy eligible year with 41 points from the blue line. Giordano shares the points lead for the Flames with center Jiri Hudler.

That’s it for me. Another late start tonight, so drink your coffee or other beverages that will get you to game time. And then let’s hope the game provides enough Wild excitement to keep our eyes open.  Go Wild!