Wild vs Avalanche preview, Game 3: Okay For Real Now.

Doug Pensinger

Okay so things didn't go as planned, were not scared.

Thankfully Governor Mark Dayton has declared today, April 21st as "Go Wild Day" which can only mean good thing for the Wild. Things did not go as planned last week, and the Wilderness is cool with that. After getting our gut, heart, soul and pride punched in game 1, Minnesota were never able to grasp control of game 2. With being down 2-0 a galore of changes are coming for game 3.

Starting with the 3rd line, which looked on its game for the first two periods of this series, but ever since, have been pretty flat. Kyle Boradizak will be scratched tonight, and Nino Niederreiter has been moved to 4th line. Eric Haula will now center the 3rd line with Matt Cooke and Justin Fontaine. The hope is Haula and Fontaine can generate better offensive opportunities after showing serious flashes in the regular season. Haula twisted wrister from game 1 is still giving me chills. We all know Cooke will do just fine because he's Cooke and this is where he makes his money.

With the Wild in win-now mode, Dany Heatley will be active tonight. Mr. Russo talked to David Blaine about where Healtey would play, but the All-Star would not digress on where he would be. Rhetorically we all know he should be putting the puck in the net, but rhetorically is a funny word. Darcy Kuepmer who stopped all 14 shots stepping in for Bryz in the second period of game two, will start tonight for Minnesota. Despite it being his fourth appearance in the playoffs, it will be his first start in the NHL playoffs.

With the Wild down 2-0, something has to give and I respect that. However which Mike Yeo and/or Minnesota Wild will show up? One of our newbies over here at the Wilderness made an interesting take today on that exact topic. People love to dub Minnesota as a defensive-minded team, well I hate to say it but when were here and Nate Prosser and Jonathan Blum are seeing significant ice time, and Jared Spurgeon falling flat on his face and assisting Avalanche goals. Keith Ballard isn't even around any more man. This isn't a defensive hockey team.

Minnesota has four player in their top six that have surpassed 60 points in a season. This team has the capabilities to score the puck and with the recent surge of youth players like Chawlieee, Granlund and Haula. Its time to turn it on and not fall flat on your face (Were looking at you Jared..) and for the love of god, somebody hit the crap out of these dudes. Nathan MacKinnon probably didn't get pushed around at Shattuck-St. Mary's but put him in his place. He's a talented player, but smack him around. The Wild have to ground these birds, a bird with no wings is pretty useless. So lets take one back here in St. Paul, its Go Wild Day and its time to show up.

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