Minnesota Wild vs Edmonton Oilers: Game 60

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Minnesota Wild (31-22-6) vs Edmonton Oilers (19-32-8)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00 PM CDT
Television: FSN (HD)
Listen live on Wild.com, or locally at 830 AM

For the Edmonton perspective, check out The Copper & Blue

Minnesota Wild Edmonton Oilers 

Andrew BrunetteKyle Brodziak   - Antti Miettinen
Pierre-Marc Bouchard -Matt Cullen  - Martin Havlat
 Cal ClutterbuckJohn Madden -  Eric Nystrom 
Chuck Kobasew - Cody Almond - 

Clayton Stoner - Greg Zanon
Nick Schultz -Brent Burns
Jared Spurgeon - Marek Zidlicky
Kobe Bryant

Niklas Backstrom
Jose Theodore

Dustin Penner - Shawn Horcoff - Ales Hemsky
Taylor Hall - Andrew Cogliano - Jordan Eberle
Magnus Paajarvi - Sam Gagner - Linus Omark
Ryan Jones - Liam Reddox - Jean-Francois Jacques

Theo Peckham - Taylor Chorney
Jim Vandermeer - Tom Gilbert
Ladislav Smid - Kurtis Foster

Nikolai Khabibulin
Devan Dubnyk

 

I wonder if Oilers fans have a topic they are touchy about? Someone on the team that if we bad mouth them they will attack like rabid dogs... looking at the roster, I don't see one. No Todd Bertuzzi there. Too bad, really.

Talk about a "should-be-an-easy-win" type game, this one is about as free as two points get. Thus it stands to reason that the Wild will likely make it look very, very difficult. Earn a hard fought point against the best team in the West, and then come back against the Oilers and lay an egg. Sounds about right. Right?

Having said this before, it sounds almost repetitive, but nothing with the Wild would surprise me. If they come out and play like they did against the Red Wings, the Oilers don't stand a chance, and the game will be over in the first period. If they come out like a Minnesota sports franchise and reduce themselves to the level of their competition, it could be a long night.

The Wild sit in seventh place before tonight's action. A win keeps them there, a little help could potentially move them to fifth, a loss could throw them out of the playoff position they are in. Thus is life in the Western Conference. One game is the difference between fifth and tenth. The pressure is on, and every game is a must win.

How they cope with that pressure, without their leader, will tell the story of this team for the length of the playoff run. Situations like this build character, and it is time to see what this team is made of.

To win tonight, the Wild, to put it bluntly, need to show up. The Oilers are a bad team, and the Wild need to show the killer instinct. Do not stoop to the level of a lesser opponent, and drive it home that you are the dominant team in this match up. Play physical, play solid defense, and let Backstrom make the stops.

It has worked this far, no need to change anything.

Five Questions:

  1. It's been awhile since we saw "The Kids." How do they look tonight?
  2. The Wild played well without Mikko, does that continue?
  3. Does playing seven defensemen cost them tonight?
  4. Backstrom deserved a win against the Wings, does he get one tonight?
  5. Does anyone actually hate the Oilers?
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