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Minnesota Wild vs Los Angeles Kings: Game 8

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Minnesota Wild (3-3-1) vs Los Angeles Kings (5-2-0) Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00PM CDT Television: Versus (HD), TSN2 (HD)
Listen live on Wild.com
, or locally at 830 AM

For the LA perspective, check out Jewels From The Crown and Battle of California

Minnesota Wild
Los Angeles Kings

Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Antti Miettinen
Guillaume Latendresse - Matt Cullen - Martin Havlat
Cal Clutterbuck - Kyle Brodziak - Chuck Kobasew
Brad Staubitz - John Madden - Eric Nystrom

Marek Zidlicky - Greg Zanon
Nick Schultz -Brent Burns
Clayton Stoner - Justin Falk

Niklas Backstrom
Jose Theodore

Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Wayne Simmonds
Ryan Smyth - Jarret Stoll - Brad Richardson
Alexi Ponikarovsky - Michael Handzus - Andrei Loktionov
Kyle Clifford - Braydon Schenn - Justin Williams

Peter Harrold - Willie Mitchell
Rob Scuderi - Jack Johnson
Davis Drewiske - Jake Muzzin

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

According to the laws of Minnesota Wild hockey, this should be a good game. They played just good enough to win against a weak Oilers team, then laid a giant egg against the Canucks, so following the pattern, the Wild should play a tough game, win battles, and be able to take this one. However, the Kings are the top team in the West and have won four of their last five.

Everyone of the Kings is playing lights out hockey, meaning that the Wild will have their hands full with every line, and will not be able to take a single shift off. The biggest keys to victory have not changed, so if the Wild can forecheck hard, control the puck, and put shots on net, they have as good a chance as anyone at beating the Kings. If the Wild come out flat, take shifts off, or continue to not battle for every puck, they will get run over by a very good Kings team.

This is the first real test for the young season. The Kings were a playoff team last season and a likely playoff team this season. If the Wild put forth the effort they did while on the road trip, this game will be out of control within the first ten minutes.

Five Questions:

  1. Can the Wild's special teams win them another game?
    Does Guillaume Latendresse continue to bounce from line to line?
    What type of effort do the home fans get tonight?
    Backstrom bobblehead night. Can he live up to the pressure?
    First of five at home. Can the Wild get started on the right foot?
    BONUS: Can the Wild put together a 60 minute effort?