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NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings look for weekend sweep of Wild

Mar 23, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT

Detroit Red Wings v Minnesota Wild Getty Images

NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

The Detroit Red Wings are looking for a much-needed weekend sweep of the Minnesota Wild while the Wild are hoping to build on their wild card lead in the Western Conference.

Detroit’s 3-2 win on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center came thanks to the play of Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith. Nyquist continued his hot play scoring the game-winning goal. Smith had a power play goal and an assist on Nyquist’s tally as well as strong play in the closing minutes to hold down the lead.

Nyquist’s play has been more than impressive lately. In the past four games he has five goals. His 21 goals lead the team and have picked them up when guys like Johan Franzen (no goals in seven) and Tomas Tatar (one goal, one assist in 10 games) have cooled off.

The win was all the more important for the Red Wings because it moved them into the second wild card spot in the East. A win tonight would get them to leapfrog the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first wild card and help keep the heat off the hard-charging Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals. Detroit has won four of the past five, two in a shootout.

Minnesota is in a weird state of comfort with how they’re doing. They have a four point lead on the Phoenix Coyotes for the first wild card out West, but the Dallas Stars are six back and playing well. The Wild have almost no shot to catch Colorado for third in the Central Division as the Avs have an 11 point lead.

All that means for the Wild is they have to take care of business and a berth in the postseason is likely theirs. Knocking off the Red Wings today would give them a six-point cushion and loosen the pressure. It would also help change up how things have been going lately.

The Wild are winless in seven of the past nine games but have three shootout losses and an overtime loss to New Jersey thrown in the mix. It’s all about points this time of year, so getting those points in losses is a good thing. That said, getting some wins would go a long way to securing a postseason berth.

On the upside, Ryan Suter has four points the past five games and doing that while playing the most minutes on the team makes his contributions huge. Getting a bit more out of deadline acquisition Matt Moulson (three goals in nine games) and Zach Parise (two goals in his past nine) would give them a needed boost.

  1. nicofthenorthstar - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Can we trade coaches?
    While the Wings defy logic by continuing to win and progressing toward a playoff berth (in spite of a crazy number of injuries), the Wild keep finding ways to lose. This march meltdown is all to familiar to MN fans. To make matters worse, the coach is making a habit of downplaying the significance of their losing ways, excusing their struggles by espousing the benefits of the ridiculous NHL point system (lose game after game but keep accumulating points).
    The Wild have the talent, but seem to lack leadership. Very inconsistent effort from game to game (most notably from the team captain), a mediocre goal tender that is being exposed for the overachiever that he was for a brief time, and lack of urgency in their playoff push (again, see Yeo’s quotes from last night’s post game) may take this team out of the playoffs as we see Phoenix and Dallas take advantage of the opening. If they miss the playoffs, I doubt Yeo will keep his job. The way their playing now, the matchup they will likely see in the 1st round of playoffs would likely result in a serious throttling, maybe even a sweep – in which case I think Yeo may also be asked to find a new gig.
    But they could turn things around. Tonight is when that needs to begin.

    • detwings - Mar 23, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      the wings don’t want to trade coaches

  2. 11stanleycups - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    Without a doubt Mike Babcock is the coach of the year.

  3. muckleflugga - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    yeah say …

    babcock may have a bit of an edge after his mcgill redmen lost to the university of alberta golden bears in double overtime in the cis semi-final … leaving an all west final with the university of saskatchewan huskies at 1:30 mountain time

    this is superb hockey between teams that would blow away anything in the coming ncaa tournament … if they dared let them in

    for history buffs, mcgill ices the oldest ice hockey club in the world … established in 1877, team founders codified what are believed to be the first seven rules in hockey

    their football team began organized competition in 1874

    [ credit wiki ]

  4. nicofthenorthstar - Mar 23, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    “this is superb hockey between teams that would blow away anything in the coming ncaa tournament”
    You’re always welcome back in the real world if fantasy land gets boring. Sure CIS bigger, older, some former professionals sprinkled in – but the talent doesn’t measure up. NCAA wins large majority of match-ups with CIS.

  5. muckleflugga - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM


    in your dreams nancy … got any numbers

    got any numbers on canadians playing coaching and managing ncaa hockey teams

    welfare beer must have been on sale this weekend

  6. muckleflugga - Mar 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM


    worse still … bottom feeders in canadian major junior hockey would dance through the ncaa tournament blind-folded … take away the top three or four seeds in the ncaaa tournament and the hockey wouldn’t rate status as junior b in canada

    lie to yourself but lie to a connoisseur of the game … read any canadian older than the age of four … your sucking slough water every time

    there’s a reason any american serious about developing their game comes to canada to play … there’s a reason no one takes american teams seriously in international competition … other than network television

    one would think if the ncaa were so good its american product would manufacture meaningful contribution to the game on ice

    if it were not for the need of american professional teams to promote local talent in the hope of selling their watered-down product, ncaa graduands would be parking cars for a living

    the shame of the practise is superior canadians while their time in the ahl so americans get a look in the big game

    i’ve always felt inclusion of second rate american players in north american professional hockey has degraded the game … in and of itself advancing european hockey against that weight

    ncaa … lmao

    • strictlythedanks - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love,
      I dont even want none of the above,
      I want to pi55 on you….

  7. nicofthenorthstar - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    First of all bonehead (as long as we’re doing the whole name calling thing), decide what exactly your trying to say. Your original, misinformed suggestion was that the CIS teams are better than the NCAA teams. I said nothing about Canadian players and coaches and their contributions versus American players and coaches.
    As far as welfare beer comment, I stay away from the Moulson/Labatt swill. Strictly locally brewed ales for me. And implying that I’m on welfare? Some stupidity defies quantification, much less justifies a response.

    • strictlythedanks - Mar 23, 2014 at 5:52 PM

      Surely a surly fan then?

  8. nicofthenorthstar - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    As far as the quality of players in CIS versus NCAA, one might look at the players that are getting called up and signed to NHL teams for the playoff push. How many players from CIS teams have been signed by an NHL club for the playoff push over the last several years? Every year there are numerous NCAA players who get signed and play through the final stretch of the season. I don’t know how these numbers compare.
    Matchups between NCAA and CIS teams are rare because of rules regulating exhibition play, among other things. When they do play it is, as I said, exhibition play usually at the beginning of the season before rosters have been set and teams have developed any sort of chemistry. Those teams are hardly playing their best hockey, much less putting forth their best efforts for meaningless games.
    The greatest concentration of games played between NCAA and CIS teams was for some reason in 2004-2005.
    NCAA did slightly better in those contests, compiling a 37-4-2 record vs CIS teams.
    There were NCAA vs CIS all-star games played between 1996 & 2000. the six games were split with each league taking 3 games.
    One more thing to consider is that Canadian kids starting at age 16 (and many Americans) go to the Canadian major junior leagues, a better option than playing for a CIS team if your goal is to play in the NHL. NCAA is widely accepted as the stronger developmental league whereas the CIS, except for a few top teams, draws many cast offs from juniors who couldn’t make the cut to the NHL (thus an average age that is years older than NCAA). CIS also draws more than a few former NCAA players with remaining eligibility and players who weren’t talented enough to get NCAA scholarships.

    • purpleguy - Mar 23, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      Nico, you have to remember that any American that dares unfavorably compare anything Canadian vs American hockey-related will receive a mean-spirited, emotional over-reation from the folks up north. That’s like telling a mom her baby is ugly .

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