Welcome to the halfway mark of the season, ladies and gentlemen. It is fitting that the Wild not only play the Canucks tonight, but also have the chance to take over the Northwest Division with a win in regulation. While the faux rivalry with the Canucks has grown tired after missing the playoffs for the better part of the last century, this game will no doubt carry a playoff atmosphere, which should ratchet up the bitterness.
The Wild are going to need to do their best to not buy into the stupidity that normally comes with a Canucks game. If Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Mikael Granlund are scratched again, and Zenon Konopka skates tonight, Konopka will need to find a way to stay out of the penalty box. That is, unless he is taking a Canuck with him for an equal amount of time. Putting the Canucks on the power play is just begging for a loss.
For the Canucks, the struggles are palpable. Just 3-3-4 in their last ten, they have to be salivating coming into tonight. The Canucks love them some Wild games, and have to be thinking easy two. However, the Wild play the Canucks much better at the X than at in Vancouver, and the Nucks know it. The Sedins will be flying and Burrows will be hungry (watch your fingers, boys).
Struggles or not, the Canucks are still one of the best in the league. If the Wild let the Nucks get rolling, this game is going to turn into a repeat of the Hawks game, and no one is going to want any part of it. On the flip side, if the Wild play a full 60 minutes, this is a winnable game, and the Northwest can be theirs.
Should be a good one tonight, folks. This one should have a great vibe to it. That will be up to the Wild to provide.
Game time is 7:00 PM. Hopefully you all changed your clocks.
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