The Minnesota Wild will be playing the Detroit Red Wings in, say, 5 hours from the time of this posting. Minnesota could do a lot to continue to solidify their playoff chances, and a win today will push the Wild's playoff chances a touch over 95%, whereas a loss will put them down a tad under 90.
That's nothing compared to Detroit, though. A win or a loss could swing Detroit's playoff chances over 10% either way. This is a team that will be fighting for their playoff lives, and the Wild are going to need to bring their A-Game if they want to win this game.
On to the Walk.
Wild notes: Coyle, Niederreiter seek to end struggles | Star Tribune- Coyle in particular has been having a rough season offensively. It's been a sophomore slump for him thus far.
Minnesota Wild: Mike Yeo wants young forwards to get physical - TwinCities.com- Niederreiter has done a pretty good job of being physical this season, but Charlie Coyle only has 8 more hits than Jared Spurgeon. Now, hits aren't everything, and Spurgeon is very nasty for his size, but it's fair to say that Coyle hasn't been using his massive frame like he should be doing. Particularly when size is hard to come by on this team.
Erik Haula to return to lineup Saturday as Wild opens home-and-home with Detroit; Nate Prosser off the hook | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com- #FancyStat fans like Ger will be happy to know that Haula was placed in the lineup at the expense of McCormick. The Wild are seeming to call upon Coyle and Nino to provide the physical element.
Fan wears Parise jersey to Devils vs. Wild game, tells horrific harassment tale (Update) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- A bit of a he-said-she-said thing going on.
Tending the Fields
Off the Trail
Will foolish voters deny Sidney Crosby’s MVP season? (Trending Topics) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Probably. Voters hate giving guys awards when they've done it before.
It's Teuvo time! Prized prospect Teravainen finally joins Blackhawks | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- A favorite of Hockey Wilderness from the 2011 NHL Draft will make his debut soon.
NHL -- Scott Burnside: Mike Smith is carrying the Phoenix Coyotes - ESPN- He put the team on his back, dude!
Colorado's Gentleman, Ryan O'Reilly Chasing History- Ryan O'Reilly has, like, 10 games to go before making it an entire season without a penalty. I'm rooting for it. That's just sweet.
Phil Kessel or Jonathan Bernier: Who is the Maple Leafs' MVP?- PDO is the Maple Leafs' MVP.
How Montreal Canadiens Josh Gorges blocks every shot - ESPN The Magazine - ESPN- In case you want to pick up some pointers for your blossoming NHL career.
Your Guide to NHL On-Ice Percentages- Grantland- Some guide to the #fancystats.
Buffalo Sabres third in SI.com NHL fan misery rankings | Home Ice - SI.com- Probably #2 behind the Islanders if we are counting this season!
Behind Enemy Lines
For more news and analysis on the Detroit Red Wings, please visit our friends over at Winging it in Motown.