Big picture, the Minnesota Wild and Philadelphia Flyers are very different teams. One is consistently in the playoffs (while getting booted out in the first round) and has some top-tier players that teams drool over, and the other is just beginning the long and arduous task of rebuilding in the National Hockey League. But when it comes down to the nasty stuff — the real small details of how each team clicks and works and shifts, they are extremely similar.
This season, for the Flyers, it’s all about work ethic. Some players last season did not want their game to be about that — not naming names! — but with those guys gone, John Tortorella is able to have his team shift to that next gear in some games and overburden teams with how much they damn work. The Flyers are just getting started to do this, while the Wild have been doing it for the last few years.
Now, these two teams are colliding in a game that could go in essentially two ways.
The first is what we somewhat expect when two teams with this mentality go up against one another, a showdown of work and a butting of heads as neither team wants to give up offensive chances and will build up a wall in front of their goaltender before even thinking of trying to drive up the ice into the other zone. This will just make it a boring 1-1 game that heads to overtime and then a shootout and leaves no one satisified.
The other way is much more exciting. One team simply works harder and is able to overpower the other one in just about every category. The more successful team pushes and pushes until the eventual loser is completely gassed and then breaks. Maybe the teams will be tied heading into the third period but the conditioning just can’t keep up and then we see a flurry of goals (like what happened in Vegas on Tuesday).
Either way, it will be interesting to see just how these similar teams on different paths look smashing into one another.
When: 6:30 p.m. CT
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Radio: KFAN 100.3
Projected Wild lineup
Kirill Kaprizov — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello
Marcus Johansson — Joel Eriksson Ek — Patrick Maroon
Marcus Foligno — Marco Rossi– Vinni Lettieri
Jujhar Khaira — Connor Dewar — Brandon Duhaime
Jonas Brodin — Calen Addison
Jake Middleton — Brock Faber
Dakota Mermis — Jon Merrill
Projected Flyers lineup
Owen Tippett — Sean Couturier — Cam Atkinson
Travis Konecny — Scott Laughton — Tyson Foerster
Joel Farabee — Noah Cates — Bobby Brink
Nic Deslauriers — Ryan Poehling — Garnet Hathaway
Cam York — Travis Sanheim
Egor Zamula — Sean Walker
Nick Seeler — Louie Belpedio
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