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Minnesota Wild vs Anaheim Ducks: Game 62

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Minnesota Wild (32-22-6) vs Anaheim Ducks (32-25-4)

Honda Center @ 9:00 PM CST Television: FSN (HD)
Listen live on Wild.com, or locally at 830 AM

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

Minnesota Wild Anaheim Ducks

Andrew Brunette - Matt Cullen - Antti Miettinen
Pierre-Marc Bouchard - John Madden - Martin Havlat
Cal Clutterbuck- Warren Peters - Chuck Kobasew
Brad Staubitz - Eric Nystrom - Jed Ortmeyer

Clayton Stoner - Greg Zanon
Nick Schultz -Brent Burns
Jared Spurgeon - Marek Zidlicky

Jose Theodore
Niklas Backstrom

Ryan Getzlaf - Bobby Ryan -Correy Perry
Jason Blake - Bradon McMillan - Teemu Selanne
Todd Marchant - Maxim Lapierre - Dan Sexton
Jarkko Rutuu - Kyle Chipchura - George Parros

Lubomir Visnovsky - Toni Lydman
Cam Fowler - Andres Lilja
Luca Sbisa - Francois Beauchemin

Dan Ellis Problems
Ray Emery

I wish I could tell I thought the Wild had a chance tonight, so I will. They have a chance. Just not a very good one. After last night's game, and the TOI some of the big guys put in, they can't help but be tired tonight. Agaisnt a very good Ducks team with a top line the Wild constantly struggle with, and two of the most annoying players in the NHL in Rutuu and Lapierre.

The good news for the Wild? The Ducks traded for some Dan Ellis problems, meaning the Wild have a good chance to score some goals. That's not to say Ellis is a bad goalie, but he is just isn't a very good goalie. Get him frustrated, and he'll cough up ten or twelve before Ray Emery can even pick a fight.

The key tonight will be to do their best to forget about last night, and find a way to fight through the heavy legs they are likely to have. The defense needs to shut down that top line, because if they do, the Wild can win, even with little offense.

With Jose Theodore in, at least the goalie is fresh. Protect him, keep the shots outside, and play the game they can play. On the back side of a back-to-back, still missing Koivu and Brodziak... this could be rough. But hey, Warren Peters is up, so all is well, right?

Sigh.

A loss tonight puts the Wild in strong contention for dropping out of the playoff position. It will be a give and take the rest of the year, but they could really use a win tonight and the two point cushion. Winning is the answer to everything, and if they win without Brodziak and Koivu, then they can feel very good about themselves.

I just hope it isn't too demoralizing.

Five Questions:

  1. Is it possible to shut down the Ducks top line without Koivu or Brodziak?
  2. Does anyone care to step up tonight?
  3. Can Theo steal one in Disney Land?
  4. How do the Wild look on the end of this back to back?
  5. Butch's jersey is over $1700. Can anyone beat that?