|5||MINNESOTA||+100||Ov 5,-130||-105||Ov 5,-120|
|6||COLUMBUS||-120||Un 5,+110||-115||Un 5,+100|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||8-11-0||-2.5||8-11||-2.5||9-9||2.7||26.9||3.0||29.5|
|Last 5 Games||1-4-0||-3.2||1-4||-3.2||3-1||2.0||28.4||3.8||27.0|
|Team Stats (All Games)||37||100||24||40||29||7||6||1057||9.5%||127||22||17.3%||171|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||19||52||12||23||15||2||3||511||10.2%||58||12||20.7%||88|
|Team Stats (Last 5 Games)||5||10||2||5||2||1||1||142||7.0%||15||2||13.3%||16|
|Stats Against (All Games)|| ||97||32||32||31||2||2||1037||9.4%||115||21||18.3%||162|
|Stats Against (Road Games)|| ||57||19||18||19||1||1||561||10.2%||56||13||23.2%||100|
|Stats Against (Last 5 Games)|| ||19||8||6||5||0||0||135||14.1%||16||7||43.7%||27|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (All Games)||31||30||825||751||91.0%||1||18-12||+5.1||18-12-0||+4||14-14|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (Road Games)||15||15||414||375||90.6%||0||8-7||+1.5||8-7-0||+1||7-8|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (Last 4 Games)||4||4||90||77||85.6%||0||1-3||-2.2||1-3-0||-2||2-1|
|MATT HACKETT (All Games)||1||1||33||28||84.8%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||1-0|
|MATT HACKETT (Road Games)||1||1||33||28||84.8%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||1-0|
|MATT HACKETT (Last 4 Games)||1||1||33||28||84.8%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||1-0|
|JOSH HARDING (All Games)||4||3||61||54||88.5%||1||2-1||+1.2||2-1-0||+1||1-2|
|JOSH HARDING (Road Games)||1||1||27||22||81.5%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||1-0|
|JOSH HARDING (Last 4 Games)||4||3||61||54||88.5%||1||2-1||+1.2||2-1-0||+1||1-2|
|DARCY KUEMPER (All Games)||5||3||117||108||92.3%||0||1-2||-1||1-2-0||-1||0-1|
|DARCY KUEMPER (Road Games)||4||2||86||79||91.9%||0||0-2||-2||0-2-0||-2||0-1|
|DARCY KUEMPER (Last 4 Games)||4||2||87||80||92.0%||0||1-1||0||1-1-0||0||0-0|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||11-9-0||+3.6||11-9||+3.6||9-10||2.6||28.2||2.3||30.5|
|Last 5 Games||3-2-0||+1.5||3-2||+1.5||2-3||3.2||27.6||3.0||29.2|
|Team Stats (All Games)||38||91||21||37||26||7||5||1005||9.1%||132||18||13.6%||151|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||20||53||11||21||16||5||2||564||9.4%||77||13||16.9%||93|
|Team Stats (Last 5 Games)||5||16||3||8||4||1||1||138||11.6%||8||1||12.5%||24|
|Stats Against (All Games)|| ||101||30||32||32||7||10||1139||8.9%||119||17||14.3%||174|
|Stats Against (Home Games)|| ||46||10||17||14||5||5||611||7.5%||59||6||10.2%||82|
|Stats Against (Last 5 Games)|| ||15||1||8||6||0||2||146||10.3%||14||2||14.3%||24|
|SERGIE BOBROVSKY (All Games)||28||27||787||731||92.9%||4||12-15||-0.6||12-15-0||0||7-18|
|SERGIE BOBROVSKY (Home Games)||16||15||472||445||94.3%||2||8-7||+1.7||8-7-0||+1||5-9|
|SERGIE BOBROVSKY (Last 4 Games)||4||4||111||102||91.9%||0||2-2||+0.3||2-2-0||0||1-3|
|CURTIS MCELHINNEY (All Games)||0||0||0||0||0.0%||0||0-0||0||0-0-0||0||0-0|
|ALLEN YORK (All Games)||0||0||0||0||0.0%||0||0-0||0||0-0-0||0||0-0|
|Average power rating of opponents played: MINNESOTA 3.1, COLUMBUS 3.15|
|3/12/2013||ANAHEIM||1-2||L||0, -120||L||5 ov||U|
|3/14/2013||COLORADO||5-3||W||0, -150||W||5 ev||O|
|3/16/2013||at COLORADO||6-4||W||0, -110||W||5 ov||O|
|3/18/2013||at VANCOUVER||3-1||W||0, +130||W||5 ov||U|
|3/20/2013||at DETROIT||4-2||W||0, +115||W||5 ev||O|
|3/23/2013||SAN JOSE||2-0||W||0, -135||W||5 ov||U|
|3/25/2013||at DALLAS||7-4||W||0, -110||W||5 ov||O|
|3/27/2013||PHOENIX||4-3||W||0, -160||W||5 ov||O|
|3/29/2013||at DALLAS||3-5||L||0, +100||L||5.5 un||O|
|3/30/2013||LOS ANGELES||4-3||W||0, +105||W||5 ev||O|
|4/1/2013||ST LOUIS||1-4||L||0, -125||L||5 ev||P|
|4/3/2013||at SAN JOSE||2-4||L||0, +130||L||5 ov||O|
|4/4/2013||at LOS ANGELES||0-3||L||0, +160||L||5 ov||U|
|4/7/2013||at COLUMBUS|| |
|4/11/2013||ST LOUIS|| |
|4/15/2013||at CALGARY|| |
|4/16/2013||at EDMONTON|| |
|4/18/2013||at SAN JOSE|| |
|3/12/2013||VANCOUVER||1-2||L||0, +125||L||5.5 un||U|
|3/14/2013||CHICAGO||1-2||L||0, +130||L||5.5 un||U|
|3/16/2013||PHOENIX||1-0||W||0, -110||W||5 ov||U|
|3/19/2013||NASHVILLE||4-3||W||0, -115||W||5 un||O|
|3/22/2013||CALGARY||5-1||W||0, -145||W||5 ov||O|
|3/23/2013||at NASHVILLE||2-5||L||0, +145||L||5 ov||O|
|3/26/2013||at VANCOUVER||0-1||L||0, +160||L||5 ov||U|
|3/28/2013||at EDMONTON||4-6||L||0, +110||L||5 ov||O|
|3/29/2013||at CALGARY||6-4||W||0, +125||W||5 ov||O|
|3/31/2013||ANAHEIM||2-1||W||0, +120||W||5 ov||U|
|4/4/2013||at NASHVILLE||3-1||W||0, +110||W||5 un||U|
|4/5/2013||at ST LOUIS||1-3||L||0, +150||L||5 ov||U|
|4/9/2013||SAN JOSE|| |
|4/12/2013||ST LOUIS|| |
|4/13/2013||at MINNESOTA|| |
|4/15/2013||at COLORADO|| |
|4/17/2013||at ANAHEIM|| |
|4/18/2013||at LOS ANGELES|| |
LAST SEASON: 35-36-11, 81 points.
COACH: Mike Yeo, 2nd season, 35-36-11.
ADDED: LW Zach Parise, D Ryan Suter, C Mikael Granlund, LW Torrey Mitchell, C Zenon Konopka, C Jake Dowell.
LOST: LW Guillaume Latendresse, RW Nick Johnson, LW Warren Peters, RW Jed Ortmeyer, D Mike Lundin, C Erik Christensen, D Kurtis Foster.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Parise and Suter are the headliners, their identical 13-year, $98 million contracts serving as July 4 fireworks over the NHL free agent market, but the Finnish sensation Granlund is being given a spot on the second line before his 21st birthday. The ninth overall pick in the 2010 draft is so popular in his home country that paparazzi follow him around town. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound, slick-with-the-stick scorer spent the lockout playing for the Wild's AHL affiliate. He had 20 goals and 31 assists in 45 games last season for his club in Helsinki.
OUTLOOK: The Wild had the league's best record at 20-7-3 at the 30-game mark but nosedived down the stretch under the weight of myriad injuries. After signing Parise, bringing Granlund over and getting Pierre-Marc Bouchard back from another lengthy concussion absence, the Wild have unquestionably the deepest and most talented group of forwards in the franchise's 13-year history. Staying healthy in a fast-paced condensed season will be critical, of course, but the key to making the playoffs for the first time in five years is on the blue line, where veterans Suter and Tom Gilbert will need help from young players like Jared Spurgeon, Clayton Stoner and Marco Scandella.
LAST SEASON: 29-46-7, 65 points. Missed playoffs by finishing last in the Western Conference.
COACH: Todd Richards, 2nd season with Blue Jackets, interim head coach last year, 18-21-2; 4th overall, 95-92-18 in NHL.
ADDED: RW Brandon Dubinsky, GT Sergei Bobrovsky, LW Nick Foligno, C Artem Anisimov, D Adrian Aucoin, D Tim Erixon.
LOST: RW Rick Nash; C Samuel Pahlsson; D Marc Methot; D Grant Clitsome; GT Curtis Sanford; D Brett Lebda.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Bobrovsky. Acquired in trade with Philadelphia, he'll likely either take over the starting job or push Steve Mason, who won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in the Blue Jackets' only playoff year in 2009 but has struggled in the past three seasons.
OUTLOOK: Coming off the worst record in the league, and with captain and lone offensive star Nash asking for a trade, the Blue Jackets transformed their roster by dealing him to the New York Rangers along with a minor-league defenseman and a third-round pick for Dubinsky, Anisimov, Erixon and a first-round pick. With three first-rounders this summer, new team president John Davidson is building for the future. These 48 games are hoped to be a first step back toward respectability.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER HOCKEY PREVIEW (MINNESOTA-COLUMBUS) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Wild-Blue Jackets Preview* ===========================
By JEFF BARTL STATS Writer
Minnesota (21-14-2) at Columbus (16-15-7), 6:00 p.m. EDT
Given their positions in the postseason race, the Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets can't afford to squander points down the stretch.
Visiting Minnesota looks to avoid a fourth straight defeat while dealing a blow to Columbus' playoff hopes Sunday night.
The bold signings of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter - two of the team's top three scorers - appear to be paying off for the Wild (21-14-2), who are in a tight battle with Vancouver for the Northwest Division lead and likely No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
However, Minnesota - which hasn't qualified for the postseason since winning its only division title in 2007-08 - has been struggling of late. It's dropped four of five following a seven-game winning streak, including being shut out for the first time this season in a 3-0 loss at Los Angeles on Thursday.
Winger Jason Pominville played his first game since being acquired from Buffalo on Wednesday for two prospects, a 2013 first-round pick and 2014 second-rounder. He said the two off days should help him adjust to playing for the Wild, who have allowed the first goal in each of their last five games.
"I think if we just sharpen up a little bit in a couple areas we'll be fine," Pominville said. "It's important to have better starts and not put ourselves in a tough spot right off the bat."
Coach Mike Yeo pulled Niklas Backstrom after three minutes as he allowed goals on the first two shots he faced.
"This has been a grueling stretch," Yeo said. "The last thing we need (is to be concerned), and we need to focus on the next game and that's it. Obviously it becomes increasingly more difficult to do that. You start looking at the big picture and see what other teams are doing.
"Being a winner is managing the emotions that are involved."
Columbus is feeling the pressure as well as it battles for one of the final West playoff spots. The Blue Jackets fell 3-1 at St. Louis on Friday and trail the eighth-place Blues by three points.
Artem Anisimov scored the lone goal for Columbus (16-15-7), which had won three straight.
"We have to learn from this and then put it behind us," coach Todd Richards said. "We can't dwell on it. Games are too important. We've got to refocus and get ready for Sunday."
The Blue Jackets, who made their only playoff appearance in 2008-09, will be playing their third game with winger Marian Gaborik, who has a goal and two assists since being acquired from the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
Gaborik spent his first eight seasons with Minnesota, including a 42-goal, 41-assist effort when the Wild made their last postseason appearance. He has a goal and an assist over two games versus his former team.
Columbus, which has won four straight at home and is 9-0-3 in its last 12 there, could again turn to Sergei Bobrovsky in net.
Bobrovsky's 2.09 goals-against average ranks among the league leaders and he's 8-0-2 with a 0.89 GAA in his last 10 appearances - nine starts - at home.
Backstrom, who has a 3.89 GAA over his last six starts, could be in net again Sunday. He made 17 saves in a 3-2 win over Columbus on Jan. 29.
|Last Updated: 12/19/2014 4:16:39 PM EST|