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Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche: Game 33

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Minnesota Wild (15-13-4) vs Colorado Avalanche (19-11-4)

Pepsi Center @ 8:00 PM CST Television: FSN (HD)
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For the Colorado perspective, check out Mile High Hockey

Minnesota Wild
Colorado Avalanche

Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Chuck Kobasew
Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Kyle Brodziak - Martin Havlat
Patrick O`Sullivan - Matt Cullen - Antti Mietinen
Cal Clutterbuck - John Madden - Eric Nystrom

Greg Zanon - Marek Zidlicky
Marco Scandella - Brent Burns
Clayton Stoner - Jared Spurgeon

Niklas Backstrom
Jose Theodore

Kevin Porter - Paul Stastny - TJ GaliardiDavid Jones - Matt Duchene - David Van der Gulik
Daniel Winnik - Ryan O`Reilly - Brandon Yip David Koci - Philippe Dupuis - Greg Mauldin

John-Michael Liles - Kevin ShattenkirkScott Hannan - Ryan O`ByrneRyan Wilson - Jonas Holos

Craig Anderson
Peter Budaj

Please don't put much faith in the Avs lineup above. Your guess is as good as mine, but they are absolutely being killed by injuries. Yet, they have taken over first place in the division and continue to find ways to win. They are first in the league in goals for, and second in the league in goals against, so if it comes down to outgunning the Avs, the Wild are in trouble.

Craig Anderson has found his game, and is showing the form he had last year. Hot goalies have been one of the banes for the Wild, and they traditionally don't play well in Colorado anyway. However, the Wild are coming off two wins, even if they were incomplete games. This, as you will note, is not the lowly Flames. Play like they did for long stretches, and the Avs will bury them.

Chris Stewart is still out with his broken hand, so he won't be able to chirp anyone, unfortunately. Would have been nice to see him get a little retribution, NHL style. Oh well, NHL players have long memories. He'll get his.

To win tonight, the Wild will need to play a full sixty minutes. Since that is not a hallmark of the Wild, they can also hope that Niklas Backstrom steals them a game. Of course, Martin Havlat likely gets traded before the game, even if there is a trade freeze in effect, and even if he has a NTC. The Wild "would love to be rid" of him, so Fletcher will break the rules to make it happen.

Don't get into a gunfight, and you have a chance. That's the short version.

Five Questions:

  1. Over under on the number of SOG the Wild are outshot by is set at 20. What is the final result?
    Can the Wild's new top line (Havlat- Brodziak - Butch) continue to shine?
    Can these teams play a civilized hockey game?
    Will the Avs beat their average of 3.5 goals for?
    How many "trade Havlat" digs can Wild fans take at Dater?