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Minnesota Wild vs Tampa Bay Lightning: Game 78

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Minnesota Wild (37-32-8) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (42-24-11)

Xcel Energy Center @ 1:00 PM CDT Television: FSN (HD)
Listen live on Wild.com, or locally at WCCO.com

For the Tampa Bay perspective, check out Raw Charge

Minnesota Wild
Tampa Bay Lightning

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

Maxim Noreau - Greg Zanon
Justin Falk -Brent Burns
Jared Spurgeon - Clayton Stoner

Niklas Backstrom
Jose Theodore

Simon Gagne - Steven Stamkos - Steve Downie
Nate Thompson - Vincent Lecavalier - Martin St. Louis
Ryan Malone - Sean Bergenheim - Teddy Purcell
Dana Tyrell - Dominic Moore - Adam Hall

Mattias Ohlund - Brett Clark
Mike Lundin - Eric Brewer
Victor Hedman - Pavel Kubina

Dwayne Roloson
Mike Smith

Finally. A chance to try those new Kayem Foods hot dogs. I've been craving one of those things ever since I heard they were the new official hot dog of both the Lightning AND the Boston Red Sox. It took until the end of the year, but the Bolts are finally in town, and I get to have one of these wonderful hot dogs.

Wait... I'm being told that the Lightning do not bring their official hot dogs on the road with them, and I will have to suffice with the same food at the X as normal. Well now. This day was just ruined completely. Dang it.

Oh well, moving forward, right? The Wild get the Bolts today, a team already in the playoffs, and sporting some highly dangerous players. There is Stamkos, St. Louis, Lecavalier, and of course, Ohlund. Three of them will score at will, one of them will just break your leg with a two handed chop with his stick. I'll let you sort out which is which.

Coming into this one, it is tricky to know if the Wild have a chance. One, the Bolts could be on a roll, headed into the playoffs and steamroll the much, much weaker Wild team. Or, the Bolts could limit the minutes of the big guns to protect them from a meaning game injury and rest them for the playoffs. If that is the case, the Wild may be able to contend in this one.

Other notes - Maxim Noreau and Justin Falk are up, as three players for the Wild are "questionable." No one big, really. Just Brent Burns, Nick Schultz, and Marke Zidlicky. No big deal. If those three cannot play, the Wild will skate five rookie d-men today. Think they have a chance?

Five Questions:

  1. Is Steven Stamkos the best player in the league?
  2. How about a UFA show tonight? Anyone care to earn some money?
  3. How does Roli the Goalie look at 527 years old?
  4. With a potential 5 rookie defensive corps, does Backstrom have to stop 80 shots tonight?
  5. It's "Hockey Night at the Hive." Will you stick around for the Swarm game?