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Minnesota Wild vs Los Angeles Kings: Game 63


Minnesota_wild_logo_mediumKings_logo_medium

Minnesota Wild (28-25-9) vs Los Angeles Kings (28-23-12)

Xcel Energy Center @ 6:30 PM CSTTelevision: NBCSN
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or Wild.com

For the LA perspective, check out Jewels From The Crown

Minnesota Wild Los Angeles Kings

Devin Setoguchi - Kyle Brodziak - Dany Heatley
Cal Clutterbuck - Matt Cullen - Nick Palmieri
Nick Johnson - Erik Christensen - Daroll Powe
Stephane Veilleux - Warren Peters - Jed Ortmeyer

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Tom Gilbert - Justin Falk
Kurtis Foster - Nate Prosser

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dustin Penner - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis
Jordan Nolan - Colin Fraser - Kevin Westgarth

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez - Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Another game, another story line.

Tonight, the Wild skate for the first time in ten years without Nick Schultz somewhere on the roster. They also skate with a completely reinvented defensive corps, having sent three players packing in the past four days. Three players that were heavily relied on, three players fans were comfortable with. It is time for the young defensemen to step up. If they don't, they'll likely find themselves on the bad end of the trade sooner than later.

It will be interesting to watch Gilbert in his first game. Keep in mind, this is a guy who the "advanced" stats say should vastly improve the Wild. To be sure, one game is not going to make or break the opinion of Gilbert, and it would only be fair to give him some time to adjust. That said, we will be watching.

The Kings have their own story line, with the reunion of Richards and Carter in LA. It was a big move to make, and cost the Kings one of the best young d-men around. A bold stroke to be sure, and one that could determine the amount of favor the fans in LA are willing to give Dean Lombardi. On paper, the lineup certainly looks intimidating. On the ice, it has been less than.

For the Wild, it will be a big test. A shaken lineup, a shocked team, loss of a leader, and facing a team ahead of them in the standings (not many behind them anymore), the Wild will need to dig down and find a way to play through it all. The Kings can be beat, but it will take a team willing to play in order to do it.

Five Questions:

  1. How does Tom Gilbert look in his Wild debut?
  2. Is this the game Palmieri breaks out?
  3. How does the Wild D respond to a lack of Nick Schultz?
  4. Wild have won three of the last four. Does that continue?
  5. What do we talk about now that the deadline passed?
Enjoy the Wild's warm up songs before the game: