(photo: Dinur Blum)
As many of you probably know, it has been a rough season for the Minnesota Wild this year. In the month of January, they have played a total of eleven games, and have only won three. They are ranked twelfth in the Western Conference, with 46 points, and a record of 20-20-6.
Tonight they face the Edmonton Oilers, who are fourteenth in the Western Conference, with 33 points, and a record of 12-26-9. The Wild are coming into the game with a current losing streak of one, and the Oilers are coming into the game with a two-game winning streak. The game is at the Rexall Place in Edmonton.
The Wild desperately need to beat the Oilers, as they are over halfway done with the season, and need every point they can get to have a chance for a spot in the playoffs. Even though the Oilers are second to last place in the NHL, the Wild cannot come out slow, as the Oilers still have many good players such as Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who are all tied for team-leader in points with 29 on the season.
The Wild will have Devan Dubnyk in net, their newly acquired goalie, who previously played for the Arizona Coyotes. In this game, they will need great goaltending, and many times in the past, that has been a struggle for the Wild.
They also need to be able to score, and that has been a problem this season; many times they outshoot their opponents, but still end up losing the game. Fans can expect points from Jason Pominville, the Wild’s leading scorer with 38 points. They also should watch out for Zach Parise and Jason Zucker, as those two have been great scorers as of late.
The Wild hope that they are getting their young star, Mikael Granlund back; he is on injured reserve with a fractured wrist right now because of a hit by Dustin Byfuglien. If he is back for the game versus Edmonton, that will be helpful for the Wild because he sets up critical plays, and is a good scorer for their team.
The Wild will be missing Keith Ballard and Justin Falk due to injuries. The game should be an exciting one, as the Wild are looking to turn their losing record around, and the Oilers will want to continue their two-game winning streak.