Avalanche @ Wild preview: Do Or Die

Doug Pensinger

On the brink of elimination, Minnesota is back home at the X for game six.

With their backs against the wall, and suffering a gut, heart, soul and pride punching loss... AGAIN. The Wild must now fight for their right to party move on. We can blame the refs all we want (and we will) but the Wild must find a way to put it all together for three full periods and more if needed. Minnesota enters Game 6 with an all-time record of 2-1 in its sixth game of a series. The Wild is 7-5 all-time in elimination games, including 6-1 in a run to the Western Conference Finals in 2003. Minnesota and Colorado have played in one-goal games in 13 of their 18 all-time playoff games, including 12 of the last 14 meetings. So to say these games have been evenly matched is an understatement.

Patrick Roy has been confident throughout this entire series. He has never  thrown in the towel against his team, saying;

"I thought our defense has played great this series"

Heh. In Game 4, the Wild outshot Colorado, 32-12. In Game 3, the Wild’s 46 shots set a franchise record for most in a playoff game, including a record for most in a period, registering 22 in the opening frame. I know the quality of shots can always be deceiving, but really? Who is this guy? These kids have been here for about five seconds, and Colorado does have a 3-2 lead right now in the series, but give me a break, man. Its ok Patty, you lost a couple games, no ones perfect. Its just all apart about growing up, something the Avs are still learning about.

There will be no lineup changes for tonight. Mr. Russo alliterated that Mikael Granlund will replace Charlie Coyle on the top power play. Matt Douchene will be a game-time decision for Colorado tonight but that's it for Colorado. How about that Dany Heatley fella, huh guis? Heater netted two assists in Game 5 to earn his 15th career multi-point playoff game. Dany has six assists in eight career playoff games vs. Colorado. Not bad for a guy that was in the press-box and collecting 7 million down the stretch for the Wild.

Darcy Kuemper ranks second in the NHL with a 1.40 GAA and a .940 SV% this postseason, stopping 78-of-83 shots in parts of four games. At Xcel Energy Center this postseason, he has stopped 33-of-34 shots, earning two wins while posting a 0.48 GAA and a .971 SV%. So good luck to the kiddos from Denver or Colorado I mean... For the millionth time and as cliche as it sounds, Minnesota will have to pull it out tonight, which I know they will. My expert mind predicted this go in six, hell, my heart said five. Now one could make a case that this series could be already over, with Minnesota awaiting Chicago, but i'm not that guy. Go Wild!

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