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Minnesota Wild vs Ottawa Senators: Game 30

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Minnesota Wild (13-12-4) vs Ottawa Senators (13-16-3)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00 PM CST Television: FSN (HD)
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For the Ottawa perspective, check out Silver Seven

Minnesota Wild
Ottawa Senators

Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Antti Miettinen
Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Kyle Brodziak - Martin Havlat
Chuck Kobasew - Patrick O`Sullivan - Cal Clutterbuck
Brad Staubitz - Eric Nystrom

Greg Zanon - Marek Zidlicky
Nick Schultz - Brent Burns
Jared Spurgeon - Kobe Bryant
Clayton Stoner

Jose Theodore
Niklas Backstrom

Milan Michalek - Mike Fisher - Daniel Alfredsson Peter Regin - Jason Spezza - Alex KovalevNick Foligno - Jesse Winchester - Ryan Shannon Jarkko Ruutu - Chris Kelly - Chris Neil

Sergei Gonchar - Chris Phillips Chris Campoli - Brian LeeErik Karlsson - Filip Kuba

Brian Elliott Pascal Leclaire

It would be rather funny if the fans all showed up this evening carrying fire extinguishers. Or maybe replace the goal horn with a smoke detector. No? Oh, OK. You ol' fuddy duddies. Yes, the Senators are in town, and as of the writing of this post, there had been no fires in either of the teams' equipment areas.

This should be a very winnable hockey game. The Senators are a flat out bad team. I hate to be the one to say it, but they are just plain bad. A once proud franchise with a high flying top line has been disassembled, leaving Alfredsson and Spezza now on separate lines, and the murderer Dany Heatley in San Jose. Sergei Gonchar was brought in to add offense from the blue line, but the blue line was already chalk full of offensive d-men. Sometimes, a shut down d-man is more important than a goal scorer.

On the Wild side of the ice, Matt Cullen will miss his third game with a groin injury, and John Madden's status was pushed to game time. If Madden does not play, the Wild will go with seven defensemen. Mostly to let Clayton Stoner hold the bench down, I'm guessing.

The key to victory tonight? Show up. If the Wild can play even mediocre hockey tonight, they should be able to pull out a win. Jose Theodore gets the start after a poor showing from Backstrom in Anaheim. He has seen the Senators plenty of times from his time in Washington. However, the Caps had the ability to score. The Wild... not so much.

The first home game after a week away should be plenty of motivation for the Wild. Add in Brent Burns bobblehead night, and a ceremony to honor Dino Ciccerelli, and the crowd should be all lathered up. Now, all the Wild need to do is keep them there.

Five Questions:

  1. Can the Wild show a killer instinct against a weaker opponent?
    Do the Wild defensive forwards find a way to step up while lacking in their ranks?
    How does Theodore look in a chance to seize the throne?
    Can Jarkko Ruutu avoid biting or stomping on someone?
    Will SpaethCo dig until he finds his old Kuba jersey?