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Minnesota Wild @ Colorado Avalanche: Game 51

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Minnesota Wild (24-19-7) at Colorado Avalanche (26-24-2)

Pepsi Center @ 8:00 PM CSTTelevision: FSN
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or Wild.com

For the Colorado perspective, check out Mile High Hockey

Minnesota Wild Colorado Avalanche

Nick Johnson - Kyle Brodziak - Dany Heatley
Cal Clutterbuck - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi
Darroll Powe - Warren Peters - Carson McMillan
Jed Ortmeyer - Chad Rau - Matt Kassian

Nick Schultz - Jared Spurgeon
Justin Falk - Nate Prosser
Clayton Stoner - Greg Zanon

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

Peter Mueller - Paul Stastny - T.J. Galiardi
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O`Reilly - Milan Hejduk
David Jones - Jay McClement - Daniel Winnik
Cody McLeod - Chuck Kobasew - David Van Der Gulik

Jan Hejda - Ryan O`Byrne
Kyle Quincey - Stefan Elliott
Shane O`Brien - Erik Johnson

Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Semyon Varlamov

Back in Denver for a rematch against the most exciting team in hockey. Woo.

Yes, the Wild were just in Denver. Yes the schedule makers for the NHL must think they are just so very funny. Yes the travel is ridiculous. But hey, the PA is worried about so many different aspects of the new alignment, it isn't just the travel (read: they want more money to allow the NHL to do what makes sense).

The Wild are coming off one of the worst loses in team history, the Avs wanting desperately to take the 8th spot from them, yet losing to the Oilers. Neither team is going to be happy, which could make a chippy "rivalry" even more so. Maybe this is the game Matt Kassian gets some revenge for the first meeting of these two teams. Maybe not.

Same lineup tonight for the Wild, as it looks like Mike Yeo gives his guys a chance to respond to the loss at home. Have to admit, I love the idea to not put Marek Zidlicky back in. Sends the wrong message, in my mind. Rather than seeing "We sucked, he's taking me out," the players see "If I whine enough, I can get back in." Big fan of the accountability level from Yeo.

There you have, folks. Big two points, as always. Enjoy the game.

Five Questions:

  1. Getting embarrassed can motivate or crush souls. Which will it be tonight?
  2. Backstrom back in the cage. Does it help?
  3. Wild need a leader. Who will it be?
  4. Any chance, any at all, that the Wild play the system for a full 60 tonight?
  5. How many times does Adrian Dater make himself look stupid tonight?
Enjoy the Wild's warm up songs before the game: