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Minnesota Wild vs Saint Louis Blues: Game 54

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Minnesota Wild (28-20-5) vs Saint Louis Blues (24-20-8)

Scottrade Place @ 7:00PM CDT Television: KSTC 45 (HD)
Listen live on Wild.com, or locally at 830 AM

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

Minnesota Wild
Saint Louis Blues

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

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

Jose Theodore
Niklas Backstrom

Andy McDonald - David Backes - Brad Boyes
Alexander Steen - Patrik Berglund - T.J. Oshie
Brad Winchester - Jay McClement - Matt D`Agostini
Vladimir Sobotka - B.J. Crombeen - Cam Janssen


Alex Pietrangelo - Barret Jackman
Eric Brewer - Erik Johnson
Nikita Nikitin - Roman Polak

Jaroslav Halak
Ty Conklin

With the Wild two points behind Calgary (WHO?) for the eight spot, and three points behind Anaheim, the worst thing that could happen tonight is a Wild loss and for Calgary to beat the Ducks in overtime. So... Murphy's law is in effect.

The Wild cannot worry about what the Flames and Ducks are doing. They need to focus on what the Wild are doing. They are currently 7-3-0 in their past 10, 15-9-3 on the road for the season, and have been playing great hockey lately. The problem? They stink against the Blues. Both goalies have losing records in Saint Louis, and Client Jaroslav Halak can win a game all by himself.

The Blues are struggling recently, though. Just 4-4-2 in their past ten, they have fallen in the standings and now sit five points behind the Wild. They are still dangerous, as they like to crash the net, they are fast, and they have shooters who, you know, shoot the puck.

Saint Louis is one of the teams Wild fans don't hear much about. They play in the central with the Wings, so they tend to be overlooked. That should not happen. The Blues are a young team with a ton of talent. While they have fallen recently, if they decide to get back up, they are going to make teams look very silly.

The key tonight is to simply play their own game. The things the Wild have been doing are working against teams that play a similar game to the Blues. So, protect the goalie, and continue to block shots. Stay defensively responsible and capitalize on the mistakes the Blues will make. Don't try to get into a footrace with them, and maintain possession. Everything should follow from that.

(Note to Wild fans. This is regular season game 54. Only 27 left. Live it up.)

Five Questions:

  1. Havlat took the team lead in goals in the last game. Will Brent Burns be OK with that?
    The defense has been stellar lately. Does that continue?
    There is no rivalry here, and Boogey is gone. Do things get chippy at all?
    Can the Wild shut down the Inglorious Backes?
    Despite this being a big game in the standings, there is not much for the fans to get up about. Can Wild fans get into this one?