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Minnesota Wild vs Nashville Predators: Game 21

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Minnesota Wild (10-8-2) vs Nashville Predators (9-7-4)

Xcel Energy Center @ 1:00 PM CST Television: FSN (HD)
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For the Nashville perspective, check out On the Forecheck

Minnesota Wild
Nashville Predators

Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Patrick O`Sullivan
Cal Clutterbuck - John Madden - Antti Miettinen
Matt Cullen - Kyle Brodziak - Martin Havlat
Eric Nystrom - Robbie Earl - Brad Staubitz

Greg Zanon - Marek Zidlicky
Nick Schultz - Brent Burns
Cam Barker - Justin Falk

Jose Theodore
Niklas Backstrom

Steve Sullivan - Cal O`Reilly - Patric HornqvistJP DuMont - Marcel Goc - Martin EratJordin Tootoo - Colin Wilson - Joel WardSergei Kostitsyn - Nick Spaling - Jerred Smithson

Shea Weber - Ryan SuterFrancis Bouillon - Kevin KleinShane O`Brien - Cody Franson

Pekka RinneAnders Lindback

After giving up 11 goals in the past two games, and facing a team that the Wild traditionally have gunfights with, they are going to have to find a way to play some defense. Jose Theodore gets the start this afternoon, his first at the X in a Wild sweater, although he should have had a bit of a warm up after the second period of the last game. Without beating a dead horse here, the play of the team was unacceptable on Wednesday, the actions (or lack thereof) from the coach were unacceptable, and everyone involved needs to step up.

After the Flyers game, Todd Richards said he was considering taking Andrew Brunette off the top line. Perhaps to add some speed, perhaps just to send a message. The questions would be... who moves up? Where does Bruno fit, if not with Koivu? Could be Clutterbuck, as he has shown he can play with the top line. Could be O'Sullivan, giving him the chance he never had anywhere else, and perhaps fulfilling his draft promise.

No matter what happens, the Wild absolutely cannot lay another egg today. They need to show something to the fans today, and show something to themselves. The effort for the last month just has not been there, and they should have learned their lesson with the past two games. We have said for a month that if they continued to be outshot, and continued to take long stretches of time off, that they would eventually get run over. They have now been run over twice. Time to wake up.

Five Questions:

  1. Over under for Wild shots is set at 20. How many do they get outshot by?
    Will Brunette being off the top line do the team any good?
    The Wild and Preds matchup pretty well. Can the Wild keep from making them look like the Flyers?
    Who is the hero, and who is the goat?
    Can the Wild set their world record tonight?