There was a time in the history of the Minnesota Wild when heading to the Saddledome meant not only a loss, but an embarrassment. Those days are over, as the Wild have played very well there in recent years. This may have something to do with the Flames following the DeWalt Tools method of business by being old and over priced. It may also have to do with Jacques Lemaire no longer being the coach.
The choice is yours.
The 2013 Calgary Flames are one of the least intimidating teams in the NHL. Mikka Kiprusoff is hurt, and shy of Jarome Iginla, the Flames have no one that gives other teams fits. They currently employ the remnants of Jay Bouwmeester and Dennis Wideman, and boast Mike Cammeleri and Curtis Glencross up front. Sure, they can score some goals, but the team just does not look like a playoff team. How GM Jay Feaster continues to be employed is beyond logic.
The Wild are riding a high from winning game for the first time in a week, and need to build on that momentum. The team is still looking for their first road win on the season, something that is going to need to happen soon if they expect to be taken seriously. Playing at home has not exactly been kind to them, but going on the road has been downright cruel.
Continuing the momentum thinking, there are several players who need to continue to build on their personal play as well. Charlie Coyle is everywhere, and needs to find a way to get on the board. Jonas Brodin continues to build confidence in his game, and needs to keep shooting the puck. Devin Setoguchi has always been a streaky player, which could be bad news for the Flames with Setoguchi having scored his first goal of the season against the Preds.
There are still plenty of question marks, though. Is the top line going to rejoin the party? Are the third and fourth lines going to contribute at some point? Is the defensive corps going to show up and chip in one of these games?
Plenty of reasons to watch. Though, it does mean you have to watch the Flames, so it may not be worth it.
We'll see you tonight.