The Minnesota Wild’s Week Ahead


What’s On Tap?

For most of us, our work week is coming to a much-needed close, the Minnesota Wild’s however, is just beginning. After a shootout victory Tuesday against the Senators, Minnesota flew to our nation’s capital to start off yet another crucial weekend of hockey, where they play three games in the next four days. Let’s Doob This!

A few headlines/notes during this stretch:

  1. Every game matters right now. Just because Minnesota’s playoff odds are currently above 80% , the Wild need to continue to score goals, and play solid defensive hockey in front of Devan Dubnyk. Chasing the Wild, Calgary continues to find ways to win, even without Captain and lead scoring Defenceman Mark Girodano. Also, keep an eye on San Jose. The Sharks have won their past two games by a combined 10-2 margin. And last, of course, LA is right there with them. No room for error.
  2. Dubnyk gets a rest? If there is going to be a game where Yeo wants Dubnyk to take a breather, chances are it will be against the Hurricanes Friday.  With high-octane, scoring bonanza, Washington Capitals tonight, Dubnyk may see a lot of action (more on that below). I just don’t see down the schedule, another game where we could afford to have Dubs on the bench. If it’s going to happen, my guess is it’s Friday, at PNC Arena.
  3. Collision course with Colorado.. Minnesota will be looking to sweep a five-game series with the Avs on Sunday in a matinee of sorts. Colorado should come out hard and fast again, much like we saw in Denver last Saturday. Expect an even more physical game from the Wild in St. Paul. Fans are expecting just that out of newly acquired Chris Stewart; a showcase of what he is capable of, or what we hope he is capable of in a playoff atmosphere. A hard-nosed gritty game.

 Friday vs. the Capitals

Surging towards the postseason, Barry Trotz has turned this team around in Washington. Alex Ovechkin once again, is looking for the  scoring crown in the league. He currently has 43 goals, and we all know just how dangerous he is with that patented right hand shot, from the right of the goaltender, on the power play.

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I don’t care if the Wild are 47 out 48 on the penalty kill since the All-Star break or not. Minnesota must stay out of the box Thursday night. Braden Holtby has also provided the Caps with goaltending it has not seen in some time. Scoring won’t be easy. Should be a good one Thursday night.

No Easy Win.

As we learned from the Oilers last week, don’t take any team for granted. The Wild shouldn’t, and as fans we shouldn’t. Out of the three games that close out the week, the Hurricanes on Friday worry me the most. Only 4 times has Dubnyk given up three or more goals in a game since the trade that changed Minnesota’s fortune. One of those being against Carolina (a 6-3 win on February 14th). The Canes are playing for spoils and pride right now. If Dubs sees enough action from OV, and the Nicklas Backstrom led Caps tonight, don’t be surprised if we see one of either Niklas Backstrom or Darcy Kuemper starting in net for the first time, since the drubbing we took in Pittsburgh over a month and a half ago. Especially if we don’t see one of our banged up defenders Nate Prosser or Jared Spurgeon back in the lineup.

Bring the Brooms…

At least as fans, that’s what we are thinking. Won’t be easy. Sunday at 5pm Central, Minnesota hosts Colorado, hoping for a sweep of the divisional rival. Say what you will of our midwestern foe, the Avalanche are, for the most part, a tough/(goon-esque) customer, as Cody McLeod and Swede Captain Gabriel Landeskog, proved Saturday at the Pepsi Center. I was there…

Yes, that’s me.

That game was literally 50/50 split between Wild and Avalanche fans. The amount of Minnesotans present clearly got under the skin of Avs fans Saturday night. It was glorious. Even the “security guard” in our section was instigating violence in our section between fans. Yes, the security guard. Excited for this one much?

Hoping it’s a great weekend for the land of 10,000 lakes. We should all be happy with 4-5 points  when all is said and done. What do you think?

Wild Card/Playoff Bubble team schedules through Sunday:

Flames- @Boston Thursday, @Detroit Friday, @Ottawa Sunday

Kings- vs. Montreal Thursday, vs. Pittsburgh Saturday

Sharks- vs. Vancouver Saturday

Jets- @Nashville Saturday

Canucks- @Phoenix Thursday, @San Jose Saturday

Next: The 7 Best Minnesota Wild Stats Of The Week

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