Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Minnesota Wild Should Benefit from Four Day Break

The Minnesota Wild, 2-1-3 this season in games decided by one goal, don't play until Thursday. This long break is giving the Wild a great opportunity to rest injured players as well as improve.

Greg Zanon and Guillaume Latendresse, who both missed Saturday's game in Vancouver, did not practice today at the Xcel and are day-to-day. However, this four day break will be important for their rest.

One area the Wild need to improve upon is the power play. Minnesota is 0-18 on the power play in their last five games. On the season, the Wild have only scored three power play goals in 31 opportunities. That needs to be a lot better.

Wild Lose Via Power Play Goal

Post-regulation heroics would have been outstanding two games in a row, unfortunately the Minnesota Wild didn't have it in them. They ended up following their shootout win over the Oilers with an overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

Sami Sale had the overtime goal on the power play, beating Niklas Backstrom.

Minnesota had gotten off to a good start, forcing the Canucks into many errors, including three penalties in a span of five minutes.

At least the Wild seem to be playing well overall. Perhaps this is the year we return to the playoffs!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Popular-Game Picks

Don't miss these popular out-of-town visits at the Xcel Energy Center:

Boston Bruins 2/19: defending Stanley Cup champions come to town
Anaheim Ducks 10/27, 2/14
Calgary Flames 11/27, 3/11, 3/22
Chicago Blackhawks 12/14, 4/5
Dallas Stars 1/21, 3/13
Detroit Red Wings 10/29
St. Louis Blues 11/5, 11/19
San Jose Sharks 1/10, 2/26
Winnipeg 2/16: first ever trip to the Xcel Energy Center!
Vancouver Canucks: 11/3, 2/9, 3/19: defending Western Conference champion

2011-12 Minnesota Wild Schedule

Here are some fast facts regarding the Minnesota Wild 2011 season!

Games by Conference/Division

Western Conference:
Central Division (20)
Northwest Division (24)
Pacific Division (20)

Eastern Conference:

Atlantic Division (6)
Northwest Division (5)
Southeast Division (7)

Opponents to Visit Minnesota

Los Angeles-2
New Jersey-1
New York Islanders-1
New York Rangers-1
St. Louis-2
San Jose-2
Tampa Bay-1

Longest Homestand: 6 games

Longest Road Trip: 5 games (2 times)

Air Miles Traveled: 44,051

Length of Wild's 2011-12 Season: 183 days

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wild Try to Extend Streak to 17 Over Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers are 0-14-2 in the past 16 visits to the Xcel Energy Center. Tonight, the Wild will host the Oilers again.

The Oilers' last two first-round draft b=picks both contributed to a win in the season opener. Can those two younglings tackle a bigger task tonight, a win at the Xcel?

In the three meetings between the two teams last year, the Minnesota Wild outscored the Oilers 12-5. The 16-game stretch is the NHL's second-longest active winning streak by a home team over a visitor. Nashville holds the No. 1 spot with 17 consecutive home victories over Columbus.

The Wild are beginning a three-game homestand tonight.

Let's hope the Minnesota boys can hold it together for another win over the Oilers! Let's start this homestand out right!

Pierre-Marc Bouchard Eligible Tonight

Minnesota Wild forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard (whose name always reminds me of the days I spent in France) will be eligible to play tonight after being suspended for two games for a high stick that bloodied the face of Columbus' Matt Calvert in Saturday's game.

Bouchard asserts that the intended point of impact was the hands of Calvert, not the face. However, the league said regardless of Bouchard's intent, he is responsible for the actual result of the slash up into the face area.

He will forfeit $4,108.10 in pay as a further punishment of the act.

Bouchard is back this year after missing more than a season with a concussion.

Brent Burns, former teammate, reached out to support Bouchard on twitter, "Butchy apologizes to ants if he steps on one. No chance he even attempts to hurt anyone out there. Freak accident."

I think we have bigger problems on our hands... Bouchard talks to ants? Just kidding. Only trying to make light of a situation that should have never happened. A two-game suspension seemed steep. It is hockey after all.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Top Minnesota Wild Hockey Games

Top Minnesota Wild Hockey Game to Watch this Year!

1. Minnesota vs Edmonton 10/13
2. Minnesota @ San Jose 11/10
3. Minnesota vs Colorado 12/26
4. Minnesota @ Philadelphia 1/17
5. Minnesota vs Winnipeg 2/16
6. Minnesota @ Montreal 3/1
7. Minnesota vs Phoenix 5/7

CHECK THEM OUT and mark your calendars! What are the games you are most looking forward to?