Minneapolis - November 13, 2014 -
Who: Minnesota Wild
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Know thine enemy: The Wild are sliding hard right now, losers of four straight. Of course, part of the reason for that might have something to do with injuries to Jared Spurgeon and Zach Parise. The latter is the team’s leading scorer, while the former has become the Wild’s best offensive defenseman. Since he’s been out, they’ve struggled hard, scoring more than on goal in a game just once in the five games he’s missed. He’ll be back tonight and the Wild will get a nice boost from him.
Aside from that, the weapons are there, though they are struggling right now. Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek are two familiar faces, right behind Parise for the team scoring lead. Jason Zucker leads the team with five goals while Ryan Suter continues his dominating play on the back end.
In net, it’s likely to be Darcy Kuemper. Despite a 1.99 goals against average and .915 save percentage, he’s just 6-5-0 thanks to the scoring troubles plaguing the Wild. It’ll be tough for the Sabres to score on ANYONE let alone a goalie playing as well as Kuemper.
About the Sabres: Things somehow got even uglier after an ugly, ugly weekend for the Sabres. They went to St. Louis and got mauled by the Blues to the tune of 6-1. Tyler Ennis scored, keeping alive the streak of either he, Stafford or Girgensons being the only ones allowed to score ever.
At this point, it’s getting hard to write anything new or interesting about this team. They’re as bad as bad can be right now and they’re huge underdogs in every game they’re in for a reason. We’re all waiting for June to get here and just hoping something catastrophic doesn’t happen to cost them a superstar they sorely need.
The part where I predict things: Even with the Wild struggling, this won’t be close. They get back their top offensive defenseman, they have talent up and down the roster even if it’s not clicking right now and they have a goalie playing very well against a team that can barely generate shots, let alone score.
If you’re going to subject yourself to this one, prepare for a Wild goal in the first that will effectively end the game. Buffalo fans: watch the Bills tonight instead. You’ll have a much better time.
Score: 3-0 Wild
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