If you squint, the Minnesota Wild are cruising into tonight’s game on a four-game win streak and on the backs of six wins out of the last seven. However, those in the know know that many of those wins haven’t exactly been pristine. The win against Dallas Stars came in a shootout after blowing a four point lead, the Anaheim win also came from a shootout victory.
Wild at Flames
When: 7:00 p.m. CT
Where: Scotiabank Saddledome
TV: SN, SN360, BSN, BSWIX
Radio: KFAN 100.3 FM
However, a win is a win is a win. These are the games the Wild were losing at the beginning of the season and now they’re stealing W’s. They’ve have to do so again tonight as the Flames are hoping to close out their homestand with a win in front of fans — they have won three out of their last four.
The Wild weren’t so hot against the Calgary Flames last season; they were 1-2-0, and those two losses were scorchers (yikes, sorry). They won in their last meeting, however. Furthermore, both teams have some key figures that were present during their last meetings that aren’t with either teams today.
Projected Wild lineup:
Kirill Kaprizov — Sam Steel — Mats Zuccarello
Jordan Greenway — Joel Eriksson Ek — Marcus Foligno
Nic Petan — Frederick Gaudreau — Matt Boldy
Mason Shaw — Connor Dewar — Ryan Reaves
Jake Middleton — Jared Spurgeon
Alex Goligoski — Matt Dumba
Jon Merrill — Calen Addison
Marc-Andre Fleury will be getting the start in Calgary.
The Jared Spurgeon and Jake Middleton pairing was lights out in Sunday’s game and Spurgeon was a bit of a hero against Anaheim as well. Hopefully that trend continues. We’ve gotten scoring from much of the lineup, but the top line struggled, despite getting a goal from Kaprizov (although, that came from the power play). Matt Boldy has been missing in action for a few games now as well.
Jonathan Huberdeau — Elias Lindholm — Tyler Toffoli
Dillon Dube — Nazem Kadri — Andrew Mangiapane
Adam Ruzicka — Mikael Backlund — Blake Coleman
Milan Lucic — Kevin Rooney — Trevor Lewis
Noah Hanifin — Rasmus Andersson
Mackenzie Weegar — Chris Tanev
Nikita Zadorov — Michael Stone
Dan Vladar will be starting after a really good hot streak by the youngish netminder.
At least, that’s what they rolled out against Arizona most recently. Elias Lindholm is on a 3 game scoring streak, and will look to extend that streak tonight. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on Nazem Kadri too, he’s gotten four points in the last two games, including a 3 point night against Arizona. Calgary also averages 34.5 shots per game, that’s fifth in the league. They will make shots and whoever is in net for Minnesota has to be ready to stop them.
Sorry for the repeated softball, but Kirill Kaprizov point streak watch: where we at?
After Sunday’s matinee, Kirill Kaprizov was on game 12 of a point streak. Let’s see him extend it. My personal goal for him is to catch up with the likes of Jason Robertson and Mitch Marner. (Robertson’s was ended last night by the Leafs.) But still, let’s get to 20, boyo!
Oh Boldy, wherefore art thou, Matt Boldy?
Matt Boldy had a really strong start to the season, but he’s been a bit hot and cold in the last few games. He seemed to struggle especially against the Stars. Is that sophomore slump stuff? Or is he suffering from getting the Kevin Fiala linemate treatment. He is currently playing with Freddy Gaudreau, and Nic Petan. Listen, no shots to these guys, but this is not exactly a dream team.
Can Minnesota play a consistent 60 minutes of hockey?
This feels like another softball Q, but I would love to see a hockey game where it feels like Minnesota, while maybe not dominating, is really playing good hockey for each period. Sunday’s game was fun and we got the win, but imagine it without the complete collapse in the third. Imagine if the Wild were good at 5-on-5 again. A gal can dream.