Minnesota Wild (10-6-2) vs New York Rangers (10-9-1)
Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00 PM CST Television: KSTC (45) (HD)
Listen live on Wild.com
For the New York perspective, check out Blueshirt Banter
Homecoming week. Isn't it grand? The women with their fancy dresses, the men in tuxes. Everyone clamoring for attention and the spotlight. Wait... that's the homecoming dance. Never mind.
As will be the running storyline tonight, Marian Gaborik (who?) and Derek Boogaard will return to the X for the first time since they both left via free agency. Will they booed? Welcomed? Standing ovation? The crowd at the X the past few games has made very little noise, so we'll see if these two showing up can get a rise out of them.
Sure Gaborik will be looking to remind people that he can score, and perhaps give those in Minnesota who doubted him a good "Shove it" kind of evening. Who would ever question his legacy here. Oh, yeah. Me. The great Gaby can jump in a lake as far as I'm concerned, but I know many Wild fans enjoyed his time here, and miss him dearly. Pff. Whatever.
I say boo him relentlessly, but that's just me.
As for the game itself, the Rangers are not an overly impressive team. Shut down Gaborik, you shut down the Rangers. To do that, we all know exactly what to do. Play him physical and close, and give him no space. If he gets a break away, just relax, he's just going to shoot it into Backstrom's chest protector.
The one key the Wild will need tonight? They will need to SHOOT THE PUCK. Getting out shot every night is just not going to cut it. Finding ways to win every night is great, but it would help to win a couple clean, outright, and in an impressive manner.
Shoot the puck, check the life out of Gaborik, win. Simple as that.
- Will the Gaborik bobblehead leave with a groin injury?
What does the "Injured One" look like in his return?
Does Boogey play, and how does he look?
This is not a threatening team, can the Wild put up an impressive game?
Does Cal Clutterbuck score more goals than Gaborik tonight?