Minnesota Wild (14-5-4) 32pts 4th in the Central
2.56 Goals For (20th)
2.17 Goals Against (6th)
22.9% Power Play (5th)
77.4% Penalty Kill (24th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 10G 10A = 20pts
2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 5G 15A = 20pts
3. #29 Jason Pominville ~ 13G 4A = 17pts
4. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 0G 14A = 14pts
5. #22 Nino Niederreiter ~ 4G 8A = 12pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 37 PIM's
2. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 27 PIM's
3. #39 Nate Prosser ~ 19 PIM's
1. #37 Josh Harding (13-3-2) 1.48GAA .939%SP 2SO
2. #32 Niklas Backstrom (1-1-2) 3.30GAA .874%SP
3. #35 Darcy Kuemper (0-1-0) 6.10GAA .625%SP
Winnipeg Jets (10-10-3) 23pts 7th in the Central
2.46 Goals For (22nd)
2.92 Goals Against (22nd)
13.1% Power Play (25th)
81.9% Penalty Kill (17th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #18 Bryan Little ~ 12G 11A = 23pts
2. #33 Dustin Byfuglien ~ 6G 13A = 19pts
3. #16 Andrew Ladd ~ 6G 19A = 19pts
4. #26 Blake Wheeler~ 5G 11A = 16pts
5. #9 Evander Kane ~ 6G 7A = 13pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #33 Dustin Byfuglien ~ 36 PIM's
2. #9 Evander Kane ~ 27 PIM's
3. #18 Bryan Little ~ 20 PIM's
1. #31 Ondrej Pavelec (8-9-2) 2.86GAA .911%SP 1SO
2. #35 Al Montoya (2-2-1) 2.49GAA .913%SP 1SO
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Like many fans, after a game I like to venture over to NHL Network to catch NHL Tonight to see what the "national" media has to say about my team. For the most part, I find them a lot more honest about the Minnesota Wild than broadcasting nightmare Anthony LaPanta and Mike Greenlay. If you were to look up 'homer' in the dictionary, I'm pretty sure their pictures would be there. However, they're far from perfect on NHL Network, especially since there is clearly an Eastern Conference bias. Being in the Western Conference, we're automatically at a disadvantage based on time zone alone. I've had nights where the game has been over since 9:30CST, and it's somewhere between 11:30 and midnight CST before they'll talk about Minnesota. In the West, if you want your game recap earlier, you pretty much have to be playing Chicago, as the Blackhawks seem to be about the only team they really want to talk about. I've gotten used to it, annoying as it is.
So after Wednesday's game in Ottawa, like other game nights, I ventured over to NHL Network. It felt like pretty much every other team in the league got shafted that night. Why? Well Pittsburgh was in Washington, which means every fan in the league had to be subjected to the Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin show. Not only did they do what seemed like extended coverage on one regular season game, it felt like they went back and talked about the same game in between talking about the other games that night. It was as if the other three games Wednesday night were just "filler" or commercial breaks for the "Sid and Ovie Show." But the big story the hockey media should be covering, but is completely ignoring is that the top eight teams in the LEAGUE are in the Western Conference. Yet they don't talk about that because it doesn't show their beloved Eastern Conference as the dominant force in the league that they believe they are in their minds. Crosby and Ovie don't stand out when their teams are in tenth and sixteenth places. The sad thing is, the "Sid and Ovie Show" will continue tonight, even though they're not playing each other tonight. The Penguins are in Montreal and the Capitals are in Toronto, yet somehow, the other ten games tonight will still feel like filler.
The one thing that helps with national coverage of today's game it two-fold. First off, we're playing a Canadian team. I've found that does help a little bit with getting better coverage. Secondly, we're playing at the "ridiculously" early time of two o'clock in the afternoon. This means that they will have absolutely no excuse of waiting until almost midnight to talk about our game. Being that it's Saturday, we also don't have to rely solely on NHL Network to talk about this game. It's Saturday, so that means "Hockey Night in Canada." I like the CBC coverage, however they too, clearly have their bias. If I have to tell you what that bias is, your understanding of hockey is questionable.
The Winnipeg Jets have been an interesting team lately. While last place in the Central Division and being in the lower third in the league when it comes to scoring, it seems that right now, they can almost score at will. Dustin Byfuglien is often in the hightlights for Jets games. In their last ten games, they're 5-4-1, which when you're last in your division is pretty darn respectable. Their last game was against Chicago, and they lost 6-3. After two periods of play, it really was anyone's game, and they entered the second intermission tied 3-3, with all three of the Jets goals coming in the second from Andrew Ladd, Keaton Ellerby and Byfuglien. Just over five minutes into the third, Chicago pretty much shut the door on Winnipeg, scoring two goals in those five-plus minutes. MTS Centre should be a far from welcoming place for Minnesota this afternoon. If you thought the Jets fans were loud at Xcel Energy Center just over a week ago, it will be ten times worse this afternoon. I'll admit, good for them. Like us, Winnipeg is on their second team with the NHL. You want to show that you support your team. However, I can do without the sophomoric goalie chants. Seriously Winnipeg, leave that to the fools in Nashville.