On the heels of a back-back, the Minnesota Wild now turn their attention to another Western Conference juggernaut, the St. Louis Blues. Last night the Wild had plenty of chances but were only able to light the lamp once in its 2-1 loss to Anaheim. After having success early in their existence against the Blues, Minnesota has really struggled against St. Louis, especially at the Scottrade Center. They have not won in regulation at St. Louis in its last 13 trips or, since 2007. The Wild own an overall record of 8-11-6 against the Blues. Minnesota will faceoff with St. Louis two other times after tonight.
We wont know until 5pm if Devan Dubnyk (or whoever it is) or someone else is between the pipes for the Wild tonight. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME that I have assumed Dubynk is going to get a night off, he doesn't. So I would guess he starts but good luck with who ever it is, the following numbers are not positive (math is hard). Dubnyk is 0-7-0 with a 4.72 GAA and a .843 SV% in seven career starts, Niklas Backstrom is 6-9-2 with a 2.75 GAA, a .897 SV% and one shutout in 17 starts, Darcy Kuemper is 0-1-0 with a 5.00 GAA and a .792 SV% in one career start. So all-in-all the three netminders for Minnesota have just 6 wins in 23 starts against the Blues. Last season, Minnesota started five different goals in five games against St. Louis.
Minnesota will have to slow down a Blues offense that has score the 5th most goals this season. Slowing down Vladimir Tarasenko will be the top priority as he has just gotten better every year in he NHL and is just 23 years old. Tarasenko has 33 goals, 33 assists and a team leading 66 points. Brian Elliot is a perfect 6-0-0 with a 1.76 GAA, a .915 SV% and two shutouts in eight games (six starts) vs. Minnesota. The good news is the Wild are 10-1-2 in past 13 on the road. Hopefully they can continue that success. Lines could shuffle tonight, maybe Jordan Schroeder is in for a Sean Bergenheim, only Yeolo will know. Check back at 6:45 for the gamethrad and GO WILD!