Minnesota Wild (10-8-2) 22pts 2nd in the Northwest
2.15 Goals For (28th)
2.40 Goals Against (7th)
13.7% Power Play (26th)
85.9% Penalty Kill (6th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 8G 6A = 14pts
2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 3G 11A = 14pts
3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 0G 13A = 13pts
4. #15 Dany Heatley ~ 7G 4A = 11pts
5. #7 Matt Cullen ~ 3G 8A = 11pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 59 PIM's
2. #27 Mike Rupp ~ 27 PIM's
3. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 16 PIM's
1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (8-5-2) 2.22GAA .918%SP
2. #35 Darcy Kuemper (1-2-0) 2.37GAA .922%SP
3. #37 Josh Harding (1-1-0) 2.92GAA .885%SP 1SO
Edmonton Oilers (8-8-4) 20pts 3rd in the Northwest
2.35 Goals For (25th)
2.65 Goals Against (13th)
21.7% Power Play (6th)
86.5% Penalty Kill (5th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #89 Sam Gagner ~ 6G 13A = 22pts
2. #4 Taylor Hall ~ 4G 14A = 18pts
3. #14 Jordan Eberle ~ 6G 9A = 15pts
4. #83 Ales Hemsky ~ 8G 5A = 13pts
5. #19 Justin Schultz ~ 5G 8A = 13pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #5 Ladislav Smid ~ 33 PIM's
2. #94 Ryan Smyth ~ 30 PIM's
3. #4 Taylor Hall ~ 23 PIM's
1. #40 Devan Dubnyk (6-6-3) 2.75GAA .917%SP
2. #35 Nikolai Khabibulin (2-2-1) 2.11GAA .935%SP
Click on "Continue Reading" for the rest of the article...
Many of us can remember the frantic times that were college registration. I have no idea what it's like to register for classes now, but I have a feeling it's a lot easier now than it was when I was in school. Mind you, my freshman year was the fall of 1994. There were computers involved, but I also had to fill out a piece of paper, have my advisor sign off on it, and then stand in line with the Registrar's Office, hoping and praying that the classes I needed and wanted were available. No one really explained just how stressful this was going to be, for wide-eyed freshman like myself. That first year, we were required to take an English class, and because it was a Lutheran college in Minnesota, we were also required to take a religion class. That freshman religion class was essentially a Bible survey class, meaning it didn't get deep into Christian (or Lutheran) theology. My professor for that class was a unique individual. For the first time in the school's history, my college hired a Jewish religion professor. Through this professor, I learned more about the Jewish laws of the Old Testament, which of course are later often referenced in the New Testament of Christianity. Making the connections between Old and New was certainly eye-opening for me.
I'm positive right about now you're wondering what the heck I'm rambling about. Well it's easy. One of the oldest, and more often referenced, Jewish laws could come into play tonight. Take your pick of Exodus, Leviticus, or Deuteronomy, but you should know what I'm talking about: eye for an eye. Tonight marks the first night that the Oilers and Wild meet since the hit that put Cal Clutterbuck on injured reserve and saw Taylor Hall service a two-game suspension for kneeing. It was a stupid move by Hall, a move that didn't need to happen. Hall had plenty of time to avoid the hit. Not only that, but Hall had the responsibility to avoid the hit since Clutterbuck was trying to see where the puck was and had no idea that Hall had him lined up. Add that to the fact that Clutterbuck isn't the only player in the Wild organization that Hall has injured with questionable, dangerous hits. During the lockout, Hall was playing with Oklahoma City of the American Hockey League. During a matchup with the Houston Aeros, Hall hit Jonas Brodin with a high hit, and Brodin sat out for a while with a broken clavicle.
However, no one is sure there will be any retribution tonight. According to the Edmonton Journal, Hall will be sitting out tonight. Friday night, the Oilers were in St. Louis facing the Blue. During that game, Hall injured his hamstring. He says he's still feeling the strain in his leg. So now, feelings of ill-will toward Hall will have to be postponed. Yet, that doesn't mean there will be a lack of frayed tempers. Personally, I hope that Minnesota makes a statement. That statement being we will protect our own and you better be prepared for retribution if you try to hurt us. No, I am not advocating all out dirty hits on Edmonton's other young, talented players. Don't get me wrong, I was beyond ticked off at Hall. I was ticked off at Edmonton's media for trying to justify the hit because of the physical game that Clutterbuck plays. And don't get me started for the lack of preparedness by the Oilers organization for any sort of medical emergency in their building. That all being said, I absolutely do not advocate trying to hurt someone. I do not want this team to suddenly turn into the Vancouver Canucks, who had Todd Bertuzzi at the time lay out a career-ending, retribution hit on Steve Moore. I simply want my team to be physical and to protect themselves and each other. We'll see which message Minnesota sends, as it is yet undecided whether or not Zenon Konopka will be in the lineup.
Ideally, I'd like to see a combo of "eye for an eye" with "turn the other cheek." Meaning, don't go out looking to injure. Don't go out on a headhunting mission. Simply, play a tough, physical game and find ways to score. Especially, since the best way to get revenge on any team, is simply this: win.