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Minnesota Wild vs Anaheim Ducks: Game 58

Minnesotawild_medium Ducks_logo_medium

Minnesota Wild (30-22-5) vs Anaheim Ducks (32-22-4)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00PM CDT Television: FSN (HD)
Listen live on, or locally at 830 AM

For the Anaheim perspective, check out Anaheim Calling & Battle of California

Minnesota Wild Ahaheim Ducks

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

Niklas Backstrom
Jose Theodore

Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Jason Blake - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Brandon McMillan - Maxim Lapierre - Dan Sexton
Andreas Lilja - Todd Marchant - George Parros

Lubomir Visnovsky - Toni Lydman
Cam Fowler - Francois Beauchemin
Luca Sbisa - Andy Sutton

Curtis McElhinney
Timo Pielmeier

How bad do you want it? That is the question that everyone in the Wild locker room has to be asking right now. How bad do they want it? After the past two games, it appears they want it, but the hockey gods don't want to give it to them. Another game like they have played the past two, without results, and the morale could be an issue. A win tonight would snap it all back into place. Let's hope they want it.

The Ducks sit in sixth place, tied with three other teams at 68 points. There is no combination of events that allow the Wild to leap frog anyone tonight to get back into playoff position. However, with the Ducks one of the teams directly in front of the Wild, this game is actually a four point swing. Win, and you are one point out. Losing, and now you are 5. No pressure.

The Ducks are riding a bit of a hot streak, going 7-3-0 in their past ten. However, they have been terrible at the X, losing 10 of the past 12 here, and four in a row. They are a very average road team overall, so there should not be any intimidation there.

Newly acquired Jarkko Ruutu will, ever so unfortunately, not be available for this game. They do still have Lapierre, and they are still immensely hate-able. They are a physical team, a fast team, and a dangerous team. If you remember, the last meeting saw Bobby Ryan score with Mikko Koivu's stick. Hopefully nothing overly strange happens tonight.

The key to victory in this one is quite simple. Shut down the Ducks' top line. If the Wild cannot do that, they are in trouble. If they can, they can easily beat the Ducks. Neither of the opposing goalies is intimidating in the slightest. They may be in sixth place, but the Ducks are beatable. Very beatable.

Five Questions:

  1. Can the Wild get a couple of bounces tonight?
    Sticking with this: We want to see a Koivu goal. Will we see it tonight?
    Can the Ducks' top line ever truly be shut down?
  2. Clutterbuck has 4 goals in 4 games. Does he contribute tonight?
  3. Saku is in town. Will anyone notice?