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  • Gamethread: Wild vs. Rangers (7:00 p.m.)

    Image courtesy of © Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
    Thomas Williams

    Is this going to be the start of the new era for the Minnesota Wild? Not much has changed but we are now officially having Marco Rossi as the team's top centerman.

    The trio of Kirill Kaprizov, Matt Boldy, and Rossi -- essentially the three top producers on this team right now -- are sticking together and then the rest of the forwards will have to deal with their own and depend on structure over pure skill to carry them. Regardless, the Wild are trying something out many fans have been calling for a while now.

    To try out the new lineup for the first full game, the New York Rangers are coming to St. Paul and are one of the NHL's hottest teams. The Blueshirts have not lost a game since Oct. 19, having won their last six consecutive games and only two of them needed overtime for them to claim those two points. They are absolutely on fire. 

    Luckily, the Rangers' offense isn't carrying them to new heights, though. The most goals they have scored during this winning stretch is just four and they are averaging just 3.16 goals per game. While that should win you a majority of games in this league, it certainly isn't perfect. And in this trip to Minnesota, they aren't able to depend on potentially the greatest goaltender in the world to carry them. Igor Shesterkin appears to be out day-to-day with an injury and Jonathan Quick or Louis Domingue will be in between the pipes at The X.

    Can the Wild take advantage of the Russian world-beater being out of the lineup?

    For Minnesota, they are getting some inexperience on the blue line as Daemon Hunt is making his first full NHL debut. He did technically play a game before but the handful of minutes he played as a seventh defensemen, shouldn't really count in our eyes. Jon Merrill is a healthy scratch to make way for the 21-year-old.

    When: 7:00 p.m. CT
    Where: Xcel Energy Center
    TV: Bally Sports North
    Radio: KFAN 100.3

    Projected Wild lineup

    Kirill Kaprizov -- Marco Rossi -- Matt Boldy
    Marcus Johansson -- Ryan Hartman -- Mats Zuccarello
    Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Patrick Maroon
    Brandon Duhaime -- Connor Dewar -- Vinni Lettieri

    Jonas Brodin -- Brock Faber
    Jake Middleton -- Dakota Mermis
    Daemon Hunt -- Calen Addison

    Filip Gustavsson
    Marc-Andre Fleury

    Projected Rangers lineup

    Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Kaapo Kakko
    Artemi Panarin -- Vincent Trocheck -- Alex Lafreniere
    Will Cuylle -- Jonny Brodzinski -- Blake Wheeler
    Jimmy Vesey -- Nick Bonino -- Tyler Pitlick

    K'Andre Miller -- Jacob Trouba
    Ryan Lindgren -- Braden Schneider
    Erik Gustafsson -- Zac Jones

    Jonathan Quick
    Louis Domingue

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    Just now, Willy the poor boy said:

    Lizard should have tied it up. Can't miss those when your in a swoon like they are...

    Lizard has been like that all year. Flubbing on golden opportunities, making bad turnovers, etc. He really needs to get it together....he has looked absolutely putrid thus far.


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    Okay so we have effort. Seems like accountability works. Keep it up. Prove folks like me wrong.

    47 minutes ago, WheelSnipeCelly said:

    One silver lining is that the Wild outshot the Rangers 14-7! And...Dean-o actually made a goalie swap instead of forcing Gus Bus to dig out of his own hole.

    I thought the Wild would have learned their lesson by now that neither goalie has proven themself to play 2 games in a row...

    The revolving door to Iowa should be wide open and The Wall needs a shot.

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    The one thing I really liked about the Faber assist is how we patiently waited for the #16 defender to come to him and then passed it in the vacated lane, giving Ek a wide open gimme.  He didn't stand still and force a cross-ice pass through 1-2 defenders who were squared up to him.  He moved in, broke the defense down, and waited just long enough to give the defense almost no chance to stop it.

    Kid just amazes me how mature of a player he is sometimes.

    Edited by raithis
    Correction in wording
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    Rossi is really looking like the real deal. Kid also plays a ton in the paint, despite being smaller than most those guys, but is utterly fearless. Something must have really clicked for his this offseason. I'm really impressed by him.

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    Love seeing Rossi do well this year.  The work he put in during the off-season.  The work he puts in every game.  It's great to see him finally have some success in the NHL.

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