Wild Look For 6 In A Row


Tonight, the Minnesota Wild host the Vancouver Canucks as they look to extend their winning streak to six games.

Since acquiring Devan Dubnyk, the Wild have gone 7-1-1 and gaining all but three possible points in that stretch. They have climbed themselves in the playoff chase but still have a lot of work ahead of them. Tonight’s matchup against the Canucks and tomorrow’s tilt against the Jets will be crucial for the Wild.

But, like Wild coach Mike Yeo keeps preaching, don’t look ahead in to the standings, and don’t gloat on past victories, focus on the game at hand. The Wild will look to repeat their victory against the Canucks just eight days ago when they beat them 4-2. That their period against the Canucks was the last period Devan Dubnyk allowed a goal. Dubnyk’s recent dominance has earned him NHL’s first star of the week honors.

Watch Zach Parise‘s pregame interview as he reflects on climbing back in the playoff chase and the matchup against the Canucks:

Look for the lineups to stay the same tonight. With the Wild’s top-four defensemen and the top-six forwards all healthy at the same time, Yeo’s job has been easier. Look for more chemistry to gel between Jordan Schroeder, Charlie Coyle, and Nino Niederreiter. That line will need to be an “X” factor if the Wild want to continue their surge into the playoff race.

One of the keys to the game tonight will be who can convert on power-play opportunities first. The Wild’s penalty-kill unit is on fire right now not having allowed a power-play goal in quite some time. The Canucks hold the league’s third best penalty kill unit. It’ll be a game-changing event if the Wild are able to convert on an early power-play opportunity.

Here are my three bold predictions for tonight’s game:

1. Schroeder: I like Schroeder to get his first goal of the year and his first with the Wild tonight. He did not suit up in the Wild’s last game in Vancouver, his former team, I think he will be hungry for that goal tonight. Expect a big night and many opportunities created from the Burnsville, Minnesota native.

2. Population 10: Jason Pominville has quietly had a productive year for the Wild with a team high 29 assists and second on the team in scoring with 38 points, one point behind Zach Parise. Pominville only has 9 goals on the year, most of those goals have been wonky goals too. Look for him to get hot starting tonight, the Wild need scoring from more than Jason Zucker and Zach Parise. Look for Mikko Koivu to set up “Pommer” on a couple one-timers tonight, and expect one to go in.

3. The Spurgeon General: This guy is so fun to watch. So sound defensively yet has a canon for a slap shot, he is quite accurate too. I like Jared Spurgeon to rifle home an upper-shelf goal past Ryan Miller tonight on the power-play, right off the inside of the post. Let the red pipe bells ring Minnesota!

Minnesota 5, Vancouver 1