The last thing the sputtering Minnesota Wild need right now is to face arguably the league's best defense and perhaps its hottest goaltender.
That, however, is likely what they'll be up against Saturday night when they host the Nashville Predators.
Expectations are sky high for the Wild (4-5-1) after the offseason signings of high-scoring forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter. A season-opening two-game win streak only reinforced those feelings, but the team has won just twice in its last eight contests and scored three goals during a three-game skid.
Minnesota's offense was virtually non-existent again and usually reliable goaltender Niklas Backstrom struggled in Thursday's 4-1 loss to visiting Vancouver. Backstrom gave up two goals in each of the first two periods before he was replaced by Josh Harding.
"It's not fun right now. Things aren't going well," said Suter, who will face his former team for the second time after Minnesota's 3-1 loss Jan. 22.
Defenseman Tom Gil...