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Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche: Game 19

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Minnesota Wild (10-5-3) vs Colorado Avalanche (8-9-1)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00PM CDTTelevision: FSN
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or Wild.com

For the Colorado perspective, check out Mile High Hockey

Minnesota Wild
Colorado Avalanche

Devin Setoguchi - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley
Casey Wellman - Matt Cullen - Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Colton Gillies - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck
Brad Staubitz - Darroll Powe - Nick Johnson

Clayton Stoner - Kris Fredheim
Nate Prosser - Nick Schultz
Justin Falk - Jared Spurgeon

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

Joakim Lindstrom - Paul Stastny - Milan Hejduk
T.J. Galiardi - Matt Duchene - David Jones
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O`Reilly - Daniel Winnik
Cody McLeod - Jay McClement - Chuck Kobasew

Shane O`Brien - Kyle Quincey
Ryan Wilson - Erik Johnson
Jan Hejda - Ryan O`Byrne

Semyon Varlamov
Jean-Sebastien Giguere

There will be some game time decisions made tonight, so bear with the lineups above. Word is also than Bradnon Yipp returns for the Avs, so that should shuffle their line up a bit.

The stat on Twitter today is that the Wild are 4-0-1 against the Northwest, and the Avs are 0-4-1. This, of course, is bad news, since when the Wild should win, they usually don't. However, the Wild have responded well when Yeo challenges them, and that's what happened today.

Stats, first game of a home stand, against a team that has struggled (2-7-1 in their last 10). This has all the makings of one of those games that is either really great to watch or absolutely terrible. What it will be is anyone's guess.

The Avs are not a very good team. They like to pretend they are, but they aren't. The lottery pick they gave up for Semyon Varlamov must be mighty tasty about now. Of course, it isn't a lottery pick at the moment. Give it time. They do, however have some high level talent, and can be dangerous if they decide to actually play.

Plus, they have Chuck Kobasew, which we all know is their secret weapon.

The Wild have Nick Schultz and his band of merry men on D tonight. He has more games played than the rest of them combined, and is playing in his 700th game tonight. He is now the oldest member of the Wild D-corps at 29 years old. Should be fun for him.

Kris Fredheim makes his NHL debut, and Casey Wellman is back with the team, and could play, depending on who can go or who can't. All kinds of fun with the roster right now. Sure would be nice to see the vets step up.

Five Questions:

  1. Can the Wild continue to dominate the NW?
  2. How does Fredheim look in his first game?
  3. Will the top line contribute tonight?
  4. Backstrom in again. Do he and the defense get along tonight?
  5. This have been testy in the past with the Avs. Any extra curriculars to settle?