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Minnesota Wild vs San Jose Sharks: Game 36

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Minnesota Wild (16-14-5) vs San Jose Sharks (19-12-5)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00 PM CST Television: FSN (HD)
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For the San Jose perspective, check out Fear The Fin

Minnesota Wild
San Jose Sharks

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

Marco Scandella - Brent Burns
Kobe Bryant - Marek Zidlicky
Nick Schultz - Greg Zanon

Jose Theodore
Niklas Backstrom

Dany Heatley - Joe Thornton - Benn Ferriero
Ryane Clowe - Logan Couture - Devin Setoguchi
Jamie McGinn - Patrick Marleau - Tommy Wingels Brandon Mashinter - Scott Nichol - Jamal Mayers

Dan Boyle - Mike MooreMarc-Edouard Vlasic - Niclas WallinKent Huskins - Jason Demers

Antti Niemi
Antero Niittymaki

If you have any idea who plays for the Sharks right now, you are a better person than I am. Looking at their depth chart reveals that the players CBS thinks play for them do not, so the lines above will be, at best, a guess. Still, this team should scare the living bejebus out of the Wild. Heatley, Thornton, and Marleau are all still on the ice, which means at any moment, you could be down 4-0.

It will be interesting to see if the Wild can respond to their coach's desire to not be booed at home anymore. Clearly, they have deserved it each time, but it must get frustrating to hear it. The solution is, one again, simple. As much as Tom Powers doubts it, all the fans want to see is this team come out at put in some effort. That's why you are getting booed, gentlemen. Winning is nice, and it will help, but if you come out and actually play, losses will be absorbed.

Trust me on this, OK?

Tonight, the Wild need to take what they did in Columbus and multiply it by 10. If they can do that, they can win. If they play how they did against Detroit? Forget about it. My bet is that they wilt, and come out soft. Go ahead, prove me wrong.

Does not matter whic goalie the Sharks put out tonight, he is beatable. Good shots in tight will beat them both. They will have to create chances and forecheck hard. The ridiculous defensive pairings will make another appearance, so hopefully Richards uses his last change advantage to keep Zidlicky Barker off the ice against Thornton.

Five Questions:

  1. Will the fans boo the Wild again tonight?
    Is the Zidlicky Barker pairing a liability?
    Will leading goal scorers Clutterbuck and Burns extend their lead?
    Havlat tends to play well when challenged, is tonight another example?
    There is very little sports hate between these teams, is any created tonight?