Minnesota Wild @ San Jose Sharks: Game 28

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Minnesota Wild (17-7-3) vs San Jose Sharks (14-8-1)

HP Pavilion @ 9:30 PM CDT
Television: FSN
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or Wild.com

For the San Jose perspective, check out Fear The Fin

Minnesota Wild San Jose Sharks

Devin Setoguchi - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley
Casey Wellman - Matt Cullen - Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Nick Johnson - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck
Brad Staubitz - Cody Almond - Darroll Powe

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

Josh Harding
Matt Hackett

Patrick Marleau - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Martin Havlat
Jamie McGinn - Michal Handzus - Torrey Mitchell
Andrew Murray - Andrew Desjardins - Brad Winchester

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Dan Boyle
Justin Braun - Brent Burns
Jim Vandermeer - Jason Demers

Antti Niemi
Thomas Greiss

Nothing has changed since these two teams last met. There are still former Wild players on the Sharks bench, and former Sharks on the Wild bench. The Sharks are still a very good hockey team, despite their record. The Sharks still have a powerful offense that has yet to find its groove. They still crushed the Wild the last time around.

They are also still beatable.

The key to beating the Sharks is to... wait for it... shoot the puck. Their goaltending is anything but awe inspiring, and if you can get the puck on net, good things can, and will, happen. The way to get the puck on net? Play the system. It will not work instantly against a team like the Sharks, but the system will cause turnovers, and those result in scoring chances.

It is time for the Wild to stop cringing in the shadow of the Sharks in the Shark Tank. The Wild hold a winning record against the Northwest and the Central. They hold a losing record against the Pacific. That needs to end if anyone is going to take them seriously. Not that anyone will anyway, but beating the Sharks would be an excellent first step toward that goal.

Solid defense and shooting the puck. That's the key tonight. If they stand and watch the puck carrier, they will get absolutely destroyed.

Five Questions:

  1. Can the Wild keep the offensive juggernaut off the board?
  2. Is tonight the night the intimidation in California ends?
  3. Does the standing and watching stop?
  4. Top line for the Wild has been very good lately. Does that continue?
  5. Do the Wild follow the teachings of the Church of Yeo, or go off on their own?
Enjoy the Wild's warm up songs before the game:


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