Minnesota Wild vs New York Islanders: Game 33

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Minnesota Wild (20-8-4) vs New York Islanders (9-14-6)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00 PM CDT
Television: FSN
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or Wild.com

For the Islanders perspective, check out Lighthouse Hockey

Minnesota Wild New York Islanders

Cal Clutterbuck - Matt Cullen - Dany Heatley
Darroll Powe - Kyle Brodziak - Nick Johnson
Jarod Palmer - Cody Almond - Colton Gillies
- Warren Peters - Brad Staubitz

Jared Spurgeon - Marco Scandella
Mike Lundin - Nick Schultz
Clayton Stoner - Marek Zidlicky
Greg Zanon

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

Matt Moulson - John Tavares - P.A. Parenteau
Michael Grabner - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo
David Ullstrom - Josh Bailey - Tim Wallace
Matt Martin - Marty Reasoner -Nino Niederreiter

Mark Streit - Milan Jurcina
Travis Hamonic - Andrew MacDonald
Mike Mottau - Dylan Reese

Al Montoya
Evgeni Nabokov

Two teams with rosters that couldn't be nailed down with a framing crew meet tonight in Saint Paul. The Minnesota Wild will look more like the Houston Aeros as they take the ice tonight. Writing this game thread, the entire second line was wiped from the screen and replaced by the third line. If that isn't enough to cause some worry, not much is.

Last year, when Mikko Koivu went down with his injury, the team fell apart. This year, it will be up to this group to find a leader and step up until the ward can be cleared of patients. So much talent sidelined, that if the Wild can find a way to win a couple games and pull through this, they have to be considered for real. There just is no other way to see it.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard might play. He might not. If the lines weren't already a giant question mark, if he plays they certainly would be. Injuries suck.

The line up for the Isles is from our friends at Lighthouse Hockey. Thank you to them for that.

A week or so ago, on the Hockey This Week broadcast, I was asked if the Wild were afraid of the Isles. My answer then was a bit sarcastic, "Yeah. Everyone fears the Islanders, right?" The Isles have shown some flashes of talent, but all in all, they continue to severely underwhelm. Growing pains are always evident in an organization rebuilding itself, but right now, the Isles seem bogged down in that process.

Three straight losses, and coming in against a Wild team ravaged by injuries, the Isles will be hungry. Should the Wild be scared? Nah, but they had best be ready.

Five Questions:

  1. Can this ragtag band of players step up?
  2. How does Heatley look next to Cullen?
  3. Palmer makes his NHL debut. Does he look out of place?
  4. The third second line has been good all season. Can they find yet another level?
  5. Can Wild fans Occupy the X and make some noise?
Enjoy the Wild's warm up songs before the game:


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