Minnesota Wild (20-10-2) 42pts 2nd in the Northwest
2.72 Goals For (14th)
2.41 Goals Against (8th)
17.9% Power Play (17th)
85.9% Penalty Kill (4th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 9G 21A = 30pts
2. #11 Zach Parise ~ 14G 14A = 28pts
3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 3G 24A = 27pts
4. #7 Matt Cullen ~ 6G 17A = 23pts
5. #10 Devin Setoguchi ~ 11G 10A = 21pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 82 PIM's
2. #27 Mike Rupp ~ 55 PIM's
3. #44 Justin Falk ~ 31 PIM's
1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (18-7-2) 2.32GAA .917%SP 1 SO
2. #35 Darcy Kuemper (1-2-0) 2.22GAA .924%SP
3. #37 Josh Harding (1-1-0) 2.92GAA .885%SP 1 SO
Dallas Stars (15-14-3) 33pts 4th in the Pacific
2.69 Goals For (15th)
3.00 Goals Against (24th)
17.2% Power Play (21st)
82.2% Penalty Kill (12th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #68 Jaromir Jagr ~ 14G 11A = 25pts
2. #21 Loui Eriksson ~ 9G 14A = 23pts
3. #14 Jamie Benn ~ 6G 16A = 22pts
4. #11 Derek Roy ~ 4G 16A = 20pts
5. #20 Cody Eakin ~ 5G 12A = 17pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #60 Antoine Roussel ~ 63 PIM's
2. #4 Brendan Dillon ~ 53 PIM's
3. #24 Eric Nystrom ~ 43 PIM's
1. #32 Kari Lehtonen (12-8-2) 2.56GAA .919%SP 1 SO
2. #31 Richard Bachman (2-3-0) 4.27GAA .838%SP
3. #41 Cristopher Nilstorp (1-3-1) 3.09GAA .897%SP
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Everyone needs the occasional day off from work from time to time. My mom, who is a retired teacher, called them "mental health days." They would be those days where she would get up and either felt so run down and feared getting a serious cold or where mentally and emotionally she knew she wouldn't be the effective teacher she needed to be. She always felt that in the long run, it was better for her to use that occasional sick day that she earned. My husband who is also a teacher has the same moments as well. It is not unusual for him to be at school or involved with school-related activities upwards of twelve hours a day. That solid go-go-go time can take a toll on a person. I feel the same at my job when I'm required to work overtime. At the end of those days, you seriously consider taking a day off in the very near future because your mind just gets to a place where it simply cannot do more. And it's when you get to that over-stressed and exhausted place when mistakes can and do happen. And the last thing our bosses want or need are mistakes, therefore the wise decision to take the day off if you can do so.
It looks like Niklas Backstrom is finally getting his day off. Not only is he getting a day off, he is being spared the travel as well. Not only will Backstrom not start for the first time in twelve games, he won't even be on the bench. In order to give Backstrom a mini-vacation in the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Wild recalled Matt Hackett from the Houston Aeros. At this time, the Wild haven't announced if Hackett or Darcy Kuemper will start tonight. However, if I had to wager a guess it would be Kuemper as he has been with the team right now, practicing with them. Also working against Hackett would be the seven goals he allowed on Tuesday night. Although, on occasion those kinds of mistakes are the perfect catalyst for a goaltender to have a great game. I'll admit, I'm a bit nervous starting either of them. Yet, I would have been more nervous starting Backstrom tonight in Dallas, as in Wednesday night's game against Phoenix, Backstrom was not as sharp as we had seen him earlier in his twelve-game start streak.
How tonight's game goes down, will certainly be interesting. Many of us are still basking in the glow of the fact that we finally won a game in Dallas for the first time in ten years. Then there was the unbelievable win against Phoenix, a game that the Wild really should not have won considering how they played. So we go into American Airlines Arena, a venue that has not been kind, with both of our goalies currently playing most of their games in the American Hockey League. If Minnesota wants even a chance at a victory, the skaters are going to have to play an unbelievable game. Scoring is going to have to come from the skill and roll players. And they're going to have to protect their goalie like they've never done before. Hockey is a team sport, and they're simply going to have to band together and play as a team. If they don't do those critical things, the Vancouver Canucks will maintain their hold on the Northwest Division instead of the Wild taking it back.
And back to the concept of taking a day off. Tomorrow, I will not have a game preview up beyond the statistics. Since I am the unlucky person who has to work on Easter Sunday, my Easter holiday will be condensed to this evening and tomorrow with my family. I'd rather spend the precious little time I have with my family than write something up. So my apologies in advance. Hope you all have a great weekend.