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  • Wild look to start win streak against the Kings


    After winning Saturday night in a thriller against the Winnipeg Jets, The Minnesota Wild play tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. The Wild went 3-0-1 against the Kings last season. Star goalie Jonathan Quick of the Kings is currently injured and won’t play tonight; The Wild need to take advantage of that.

    Eazy E update

    Yesterday Dane Mizutani tweeted that Joel Eriksson Ek’s immigration paperwork has been finalized and he’ll report to Iowa to start, but could be playing in MN later this week.

    Mizutani also wrote in his latest article that GM Chuck Fletcher said even though Eriksson Ek’s papers were approved Monday morning he won’t be back with MN right away. It’s been over a week since Eazy-E skated last and instead of throwing him into NHL play right away the plan is to send him to Iowa for a couple days of skating first. Later in the article Mizutani talked with Iowa Wild coach Derek Lalonde. He had this to say on the situation: "We are here to get guys minutes when they need minutes," "I’m sure the thought is to get him some game experience before he plays in an NHL game. So the idea is to get him some minutes at the AHL level. He will get plenty of opportunities with us."

    Keys to success

    In order for the Wild to pull off the win tonight, they’ll have to do a few things. First, come out strong and keep that intensity throughout the entire game. Coming back from behind isn’t going to work every game this season and it’s so much easier to be successful by finishing scoring chances. Second, Minnesota has shown some of their speed lately with at least 4 breakaways in the past two games, that’s all dandy but finishing the play with the puck in the net would be even better. Thirdly, Don’t give up soft goals- especially at the end of a period. Lastly, keep up the strong PK and continue to work on the PP. Going 1 for 4 would be an improvement and I think it can be done.

    Net Positive?

    The enigmatic Darcy Kuemper is getting the start for the Wild tonight. Which Kuemper will they get tonight? No one really knows. Kuemper had a decent year on the whole, but it was uneven. He was one of the better goalies in the league in the first half (.926 Sv%), and one of the worst in the second half (.897 Sv%). Of course, it’s easy to be influenced by small sample sizes when you get 16 starts in a season.

    If history is any indicator, he should have a good game tonight. Kuemper has been good against the Kings during his career, notching a .939 Sv% against them in 5 games. The problem? Minnesota’s done an awful job of giving him any goal support due to LA’s elite shot suppression. If Minnesota can’t solve LA’s defense, then it won’t matter much how Kuemper plays.

    Coach Boudreau Lighting fires in bellies

    Mizutani also reported on Boudreau’s displeasure and heated words in between the first and second periods Saturday after the horrendous 81- second span where the Wild gave the Jets a 2 goal lead at the end of the first. According to Mizutani, Staal said Boudreau had "choice words" for the squad between periods but didn’t say much more on the matter. When asked about it, Boudreau said: "What I said will stay in the room, in no uncertain terms, it was that we can be better than what we were playing." Apparently what upset Boudreau the most was that the Wild looked "defeated" in the locker room and "we had to change that" heading into the rest of the game. Obviously whatever he said worked because the Wild dominated for the rest of the game and even after securing the lead they continued to play with energy and hunger for success.

    King’s Ransom

    The Kings arrive in Minnesota seeking their first win of the season after getting off to a shaky start with losses against Division nemesis San Jose and Eastern foe Philadelphia. The Kings have managed only 3 goals through 6 periods of hockey on the young season. Besides an injury to Jonathon Quick, the Kings are also without Marian Gaborik, who has been sidelined since sustaining a lower body injury in the World Cup of Hockey. Other top scorers in have yet to ramp up, and the Kings will be looking to jump out to a fast start on visiting ice. As Boudreau has stated, the Kings may be the most physical opponent the Wild face this season and will have to use their speed to an advantage over the Kings and their bulk. The Kings blueline features perennial Norris Trophy candidate Drew Doughty, coming off his 3rd World Cup Championship, and having already scored one of the Kings 3 goals.

    You can catch the game tonight at 7pm on FSN, FS-WI, or listen on KFAN. Our gamethread will post at 6:30pm. Here’s the Tale of the Tape.

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