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Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues: Game 20

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Minnesota Wild (11-5-3) vs St. Louis Blues (10-7-1)

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

For the St. Louis perspective, check out St. Louis Game Time

Minnesota Wild
St. Louis Blues

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

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

Josh Harding
Niklas Backstrom

Alexander Steen - David Backes - T.J. Oshie
Evgeny Grachev - Patrik Berglund - Matt D`Agostini
Vladimir Sobotka - Jason Arnott - Jamie Langenbrunner
Chris Porter - Scott Nichol - Ryan Reaves

Ian Cole - Alex Pietrangelo
Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Kris Russell - Roman Polak

Jaroslav Halak
Brian Elliott

The last time the Blues stopped by, they were in a state of disaster. Things were going down hill quickly, and once agin their players were not living up to the talent they have on the roster. That is no longer the case. Ken Hitchcock is now behind the bench, and the Blues have gone 4-0-1 under his regime.

There was also a bit of animosity the lst time these two teams met. Likely carry over from the beating David Backes took at the hands of Clayton Stoner last season. Still, things were physical, and they were angry. Now, add to that the fact that the Blues and Wild are both playing well, and challenging the top guns in the West for position.

This has all the makings of a great game. Plus... it is snowing here in the Twin Cities for the first time this season. Hockey weather, and a great matchup on the ice. Life. Is. Good.

The Wild need to find a way to keep the competitive fire alive, as they are no longer the hunter, but the hunted. They can quickly learn that taking a night off will drop them from the top of the division to right back in the thick of the yuck.

We are still outside in the "30 games" maxim that Mike Yeo laid out, and there are still clear signs that the team doesn't always get it. However, the youth continues to dominate, especially defensively, and that is carrying the Wild through. Hard to argue with whatever is going on when they win, though.

Only one way to keep it that way.

Five Questions:

  1. Wild are now a target for the conference. Can they step up to that new challenge?
  2. St. Louis is on fire right now. Can the Wild slow them down?
  3. Who steps up for the Wild tonight?
  4. Does the Wild defense continue to outplay the offense?
  5. Does any of the anger carry over to this one?