The Minnesota Wild are in Edmonton tonight to face the Oilers. For some members of the franchise, Edmonton is home. Much like people from Wisconsin, you just have to forgive people their failings every now and again. The pure torture that must come from having to deal with the fans in Edmonton has to be one of the greatest character building exercises a team can undergo.
Everyone in the Wilderness is keenly aware of what the Oilers are, and who the threats are. Having a flop like Taylor Hall on your second line isn't ideal, but when the options are as limited as they are for the Oilers, you make due with what you have. Maybe that Nail Yakupov guy can stay on his feet long enough to help Hall not look nearly as silly as normal.
The Wild, of course, are coming off their big win against the Red Wings, even if Devin Setoguchi's wallet is a bit lighter. The team, by all reports, played well, and battled back rather than giving up. It would be nice to see them take an early lead, run with it throughout the game, and finish strong, but a win is a win. Or, at least, so I am told.
You can bet that Niklas Backstrom will get the start, as he has owned the Oilers for the bulk of his career. Beyond that, expect the top line to stay together, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard to return to the lineup. After that, if you can guess the lines, you should play the lottery.
Should be a good one tonight. As much as their fans suck, the Oilers are a good, young team, and games against the Wild have always been entertaining. If you plan to interact with their fans, you do so against the recommendation of this site's entire staff. You may also want to bring a pocket protector and a slide rule. You'll never understand them, otherwise.
Say hello to my favorite unemployed lawyer who thinks it was a good thing when NHL franchise employees lost their jobs, if you run into him.