“Game of the Night” is a feature that takes a daily look at the best game on the NHL schedule, and sets it up for you. So y’know, you should probably watch the game below. This is brought to you by the Werner Ladder Company (check out their hockey vid here), because how else do you think the bulbs in the red goal light get changed?
Minnesota Wild at Vancouver Canucks
Minnesota Wild: 15-10-2 (last 10: 7-3-0), third in the West, 32 points
Vancouver Canucks: 13-8-6 (last 10: 3-5-2), T6th in the West, 32 points
Lotta great games tonight, but these two teams are tied in points while battling for first.
2-1 for the Canucks. But Minnesota won the last game between them, and this is the last time they’ll meet this season.
Puck drop: 10:00 p.m. EST
Need to know:
* The Wild’s offense has been great, and that’s not a sentence many people have written over the past several years. They’re fresh off a sweep of the Avs in a home-and-home that saw them toss up 11 goals.
* Setoguchi has four snipes in his past three games.
* Ryan Suter is on a tear. He’s now leading the Wild in scoring with 23 points in 27 games (the majority of them have come after game 10 – he has five points in his last two games, actually).
* Roberto Luongo has shutouts in three of his last four home starts against the Wild. Unstoppable force meet immovable object. (…Okay, “unstoppable force” may be a bit much.)
Injuries (via NHL.com):
Minnesota lost forward Mike Rupp to a lower-body injury during Saturday’s game. Forward Jason Zucker(head) and goaltender Josh Harding (illness) are currently sidelined. … Booth is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday. Vancouver forward Zack Kassian was out of the lineup with a stiff back. Forward Ryan Kesler is on injured reserve with a broken foot.
Looks like Roberto Luongo vs. Nicklas Backstrom
What I’m looking forward to:
Sedin time! There’s really nothing quite like watching the Sedins play – Patrick Kane is fun for his stick work, Zdeno Chara is fun for his physical domination, but no other line can match what the twins do. On top of that, there’s been a recent push by Suter in the Norris conversation, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he looks when up against them.
I’m also a big fan of watching both Roberto Luongo and Zach Parise, so this game has a lot to offer someone like me.
The next big step for the Wild is to win games like this one. Rivals, important part of the schedule, lots of attention on the game…but I don’t think they’re there yet. Canucks in a close one.
Game of the Night prediction record:
Keeping my head above water.