Minnesota Wild Look To Extend Points’ Streak


Good afternoon, Wild fans! As you’re reading this, make sure to set your coffee makers to brew some nighttime coffee tonight, it’s going to be a late one.

The Minnesota Wild are beginning another Western Canadian road trip, this time in reverse order from the trip they recently swept. They will visit Vancouver tonight, then head to Calgary for a matchup on Wednesday, then finish it off with a game in Edmonton on Friday night. Check local TV listings here.

The Wild have owned the Canucks since the division and conference realignment. They have won 4 out of the last 5 meetings since they joined their respective divisions. They will look to sweep the season series this year which would be very satisfying for all Wild fans respectively.

The Wild are also on the verge of breaking their franchise points’ streak record which is currently at 10 games. The Wild are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games and haven’t lost a game in regulation since January 19th, almost a calendar month ago. With the resurgence of the Minnesota Wild and the steady play of the Calgary Flames, the Canucks’ playoff hopes are not so stable as they were a month ago. Currently, they are 3rd in the Pacific Division with 65 points,  tied with the Flames. Depending on how tonight plays out, the may be out of the top three altogether.

Feb 9, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Jordan Schroeder (10) celebrates his goal during the first period against the Vancouver Canucks at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild’s victory against the Carolina Hurricanes was a great win. Not only did we see Thomas Vanek record his first multi-goal game since joining the Wild, we saw the Wild fend off a pesky Carolina team in the second period who scored two goals less than two minutes apart from each other, including killing off a 4-minute penalty. In my opinion, if you can win games where many mistakes were made, the lessons learned from those mistakes will go a long way. From what I have seen, teams will learn quickly from mistakes after games won as opposed to mistakes following games lost. The Wild are the perfect scenario for that.

How can the Wild beat the Canucks again? Fix the mistakes made against the Hurricanes. The puck control needs to be improved as preached by Wild coach Mike Yeo. Also, defensive zone turnovers need to be eliminated as well. Defensive zone turnovers sparked the Hurricanes’ comeback on Saturday. The Wild also need to reduce the amount of shots on goal. The Wild have been outshot the last three games and, even though the Wild won the last two, they need to tighten up defensively and eliminate the two-on-one breaks.

Michael Russo, of the Star Tribune, wrote that Mike Yeo will keep the same lineups tonight noting that Yeo needs “four lines who can play regular minutes.” Also, Yeo noted that he wants to keep Stephane Veilleux, Kyle Brodziak, and Erik Haula on the fourth line because of how effective they have been on the penalty-kill. The Wild have killed off their last 25 penalty kills and have not allowed a power-play goal since the All-Star break. Read Russo’s blog here which outlines the Western Conference teams battling for a playoff spot and their remaining schedules.

P.S. Happy Late Valentine’s Day! Watch Nordy make some home deliveries for Valentine’s day below:

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

1. Schroeder’s return: Tonight will be Jordan Schroeder‘s first game back in Vancouver, the team that originally drafted him in the first round. Schroeder scored in the Wild’s win against the Canucks last Monday and got his second goal of the year against the Hurricanes on Saturday. He has speed, and a nice wrister, look for him to tally his third goal of the season and make the Canucks regret letting him go.

2. Haula-Back: We are seeing flashes of the Erik Haula from last year’s post-season. Haula scored off his skate on Saturday and is flying around the ice with determination. He also been very effective on the PK. Look for him to put in some big minute again tonight and record his 6th of the season.

3. Multi-Mikko: Mikko Koivu has been an assists machine lately. He has 8 points (1-7) in his last 6 games and seems to have found a lot of chemistry playing alongside Zach Parise and Jason Pominville. Watch Mikko make some more clutch passes tonight and record yet another multi-point game.

Wild 4, Canucks 2