Minnesota Wild

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Battle of the Best in the West

Just over eight months ago, the Minnesota Wild made all the difference in the world to the Chicago Blackhawks.

On the afternoon of April 10th, the Blackhawks lost at home to the Detroit Red Wings in game 82 of their season. Although the Blackhawks held a 2-point lead over the Dallas Stars in the standings, everybody - from the fans right through to the players - assumed the season was over. Minnesota hadn't been playing well; the Wild had been out of the playout race for several games. All the Stars needed to do was beat the Wild - and, tied at 97 points with Chicago, the tiebreaker would put Dallas, not the Blackhawks, into the playoffs.

Everybody wrote off the Wild - tha...

Blackhawks win over struggling Sharks 3-2 in OT

 The Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks battled it out for a 0-1 game in California at Thanksgiving. Since that game, the Sharks had gone 2-5-0, including being shut out twice on the road (Kings; Blues). In the same stretch, Chicago went 5-1-1.

San Jose came into Sunday night's game as the 3rd game in 4 days, on the heels of Saturday’s 0-1 loss in St. Louis, while Chicago had only played twice in the past six days, with their last game being Thursday night on Long Island.

Given these circumstances, one might guess that Chicago would have looked like the more dominant team, not just to open the game but throughout the 60 minutes.

However, after their us...

Hockey gone Wild!

The Minnesota Wild haven't qualified for the playoffs since the 2007-08 season; but this year, they already have 41 points and are on pace for 115 points. Who would have foreseen the Minnesota Wild sitting atop the league nearly a third of the way into the season? Who is this new Wild team?

Minnesota began its team overhaul early in the summer, firing coach Todd Richards, and promoting Mike Yeo to head coach from their AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros. When you look at Yeo's record, it is no surprise that the Wild tagged him as new coach.

MikeYeo, 38, is the youngest coach in the NHL - and is not that far removed from playing hockey himself: he was a member o...

Oilers Fall in Shootout to Wild; Why This Team Could Be Fun to Watch in the Future


Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is on fire for the Edmonton Oilers, but that didn't translate to a win last night against the Minnesota Wild.  

 

Despite a goal and an assist from the #1 pick, which puts him 4th in the scoring leader list with 27, the Oilers fell to the Wild last night 3-2 in a shootout.  The Oilers climbed...

November Notes

We are in mid-November, and it is time for my look at the Canucks this month thus far. The 'Nucks have played 7 games up till now (1 home, 6 road), and have managed to get 8 of 14 points. Brian Raiger takes a look at what the Canucks have done correctly and what they need to do for their remaining 6 games of the month and season ahead.

NOV. 1 - CANUCKS @ FLAMES - SCORE: 5-1 W

The key to any game is to have a successful first 20 minutes, come out hard hitting, get the puck deep, draw a penalty, and convert. This is what happened for the Canucks, scoring 3 goals in the first 20 minutes (2 of them with the extra man, and one of these PP goals coming with 19 seconds left in th...

Canucks vs. Wild: Game Day Preview

The Vancouver Canucks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight for a match-up that is sure to be very….dull.  Would it be an understatement to say that Wild hockey isn’t that exciting?  Hey, I suppose that since Lemaire left they have been a little more entertaining to watch.

That being said, it’s always nice to sit down and enjoy a Canucks game whether they are playing the Chicago Blackhawks or the aforementioned Wild.  What matters is that we are seeing Canucks hockey.  Problem with this season was that for the first 10 games, we weren’t seeing Canucks hockey.  Now, after two straight wins, the Canucks are going to have to show that this...

Are The Isles Better Than .500?

Once again the New York Islanders fell to the Florida Panthers last night in a 4-2 loss to end their Florida road trip. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines were held scoreless as John Tavares and Mark Streit did all they could with the support of strong goaltending coming from Evgeni Nabokov in net. For a full recap, read Evan Pivnick's post-game report here at TCL.

The Isles currently sit with a 3-3-0 record, placing them at 10th place in the East and fourth in their division. The New Jersey Devils sit in third with seven points, trailing the second placed Philadelphia Flyers with nine points. The Pittsburgh Penguins sit in first with 14 and the Rangers sit in fifth with six. All indica...

IT'S GAMEDAY: Isles Look To Bounce Back From Opening Night Loss

After a very disappointing loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday, the Islanders look to rebound on Monday for a matinée game against the Minnesota Wild. The Wild kicked off their season on Saturday night by defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-2.

The Wild now will travel to Long Island Monday with their newly acquired weapon, Dany Heatley, who tallied a goal and an assist in his season debut on Saturday night. Heatley was aquired on July 3rd, from the San Jose Sharks, this offseason along with his former Sharks teammate Devin Setoguchi.

Always a weapon for Minnesota, goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who looks to obtain his second victory in two tries on Monday. Backstrom, wh...

Western Conference Predictions

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Before the season begins, i thought I'd take a stab at predicting where each team will fall in the 2011-12 season. So, without further ado:

 

Vancouver Canucks – They might have a slow start coming out of the gate, as two of their top six players in Kesler and Raymond are out to start the season, but this is still a darn good hockey team. The Canucks will be icing basically the same roster as they did last season, minus Christian Ehrhoff, and I do not see any reason why they won&#...

One-on-One With Brian Rolston

The Islanders went into the off-season with a game plan of finding a top-six forward that could help the team transition from the rebuilding phase into a playoff contender. With Marty Reasoner signed to round out the bottom two lines, the Islanders traded oft-injured winger Trent Hunter to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for 18-year veteran Brian Rolston.

Rolston carries a booming slap shot along with an impressive resume that will add veteran leadership and depth to the Islanders line-up.

With training camp just a few weeks away, Rolston called me this afternoon to discuss his expectations for the upcoming year, his experiences with the Devils last season and the potential ...