Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mikko Koivu Captains Win

The big news surrounding the Minnesota Wild lately has been the switching in/out of Josh Harding and Nicklas Backstrom.

All this talk of who's tending the net has overshadowed some of the work the Wild captain has put into the success of the team this season. Mikko Koivu has really broke out offensively this year. Just this past week he scored an intense shorthanded goal to tie in the second period against the Blues.

He forced overtime with a power-play one-timer with 1:38 left. He scored with his signature forehand-deke-backhand. Mikko Koivu is back, baby.

The Minnesota Wild Rock

For a franchise that hasn't had much to celebrate since a run to the Western Conference Finals in 2003 and a division title when it last made the playoffs in 2007-08, there is much to be excited about in Minnesota, given the way the Wild have been playing!

Minnesota has won five in a row at home for the first time since it took six straight in March of 2008, right before their last playoff appearance. The Wild has four games remaining on their current homestand.

The Wild have allowed only 17 goals in their 10 games at The X so far. There have been 39 goals in 20 games so far. The Wild's 1.95 team goals-against average is by far the best in the league, with the Rangers second at 2.12.

The Wild own a 12-3-2 record against the Western Conference.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Minnesota Wild #1

The Minnesota Wild are basking in the glory of first place! First year head coach Mike Yeo likes what he is seeing, I'm sure, because I know I am! The Wild went 3-2 on the previous road trip and have a 6 game homestand at the Xcel Energy Center starting tonight!

I can't wait to see what the Wild will do at home this week.

Minnesota Wild Look to Beat Colorado Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche are in town and are looking to end a division skid against the Minnesota Wild. The Wild are thinking otherwise.

The Avalanche have been in a serious slump the past two weeks and have watched their early season success completely evaporate to a 8-9-1 record. The Minnesota Wild are the Northwest Division leader and are hosting the Avalanche tonight at the X.

I'm picking the Wild to win this one 4-2. Your thoughts?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Harding or Backstrom to Face Sharks?

There hasn't been a peep about which goalie Mike Yeo will use tonight against the San Jose Sharks. Backup Josh Harding has the more staggering numbers in five games, but starter niklas Backstrom is coming of a 41-save, 3-0 shutout of Calgary on Thrusday and offers his own impressive statistics.

Coach Todd McLellan, of the Sharks, had his team practicing longer than usual on Wednesday, spending most of the time on a penalty kill.

Backstrom Picks up Win in First Start Since 10/27

Nicklas Backstrom was back in the net for a win that put the Wild up 3-0 over the Flames. It was Backstrom's first start since October 27 against Anaheim. He stopped 41 shots as the Wild wno their fifth straight.

Backup Josh Harding had started and won Minnesota's last four games, surrendering only three goals in that span.

Dany Heatley had a goal and an assist for Minnesota. Darroll Powe and Guillaume Latendresse also scored.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Marek Zidlicky Hasn't Played so Well

Marek Zidlicky has been given a great deal of time by Mike Yeo. Yeo met with the veteran defenseman and had a long talk on the ice during practice recently, as Yeo often does with players. Yeo downplayed the coversation as such - no big deal.

What do you think they talked about? Is Zidlicky on thin ice?

Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom Outstanding

Mike Yeo is faced with a problem. A good one, which has been rare these past few Minnesota Wild seasons.

Both of the Minnesota Wild goalies are playing so well that either is worthy of a start in the net. So while Yeo's choice to start Josh Harding again over Niklas Backstrom in tonight's game against Vacouver was not made without hesitation, Yeo can be confident that Harding won't drop the puck.

So far this season the Wild are allowing 2.09 goals per game, which is the fourth best in the NHL. Backstrom has had a few substandard games out of the eight he has played in, but he's still the starter with an All-Star game under his belt, alongside a 144-94 record. Even with all that, Harding has managed to work his way under the radar and into the net.

With two goalies playing outstanding defense, I look for the Wild to pick up their win rate as we head deeper into the season.