By Dan Wallace
Wild Game Day number 3
Opponent: Arizona Coyotes
Site: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Time: 9:00PM CT
TV: Fox Sports North (FSN)
Last Season Results:
10/23 Coyotes 0 @ Wild 2
12/13 Wild 4 @ Coyotes 3 (SO)
1/17 Coyotes 1 @ Wild 3
The Wild (2-0-0 4 pts) are well rested entering tonight’s game in Arizona (3-0-0 6 pts), having not played since beating the Blues on Saturday evening in St. Paul. The Coyotes on the other hand played in Anaheim last night then had to travel home while the Wild were already in Phoenix getting a good night’s rest.
Last season the Wild took all three meetings with the Coyotes including a 4 to 3 shootout win in their only trip to the desert. The Coyotes are one of the early season surprises getting off to a 3 and 0 start. That is only part of the story as those 3 wins have all come against pre-season playoff contenders, LA, Pittsburgh, and Anaheim last night.
The Yotes are built on speed and youth and are being led by Anthony Duclair and Max Domi, the son of long time Maple Leaf Tie Domi. Duclair scored his first career hattrick last night and Domi scored an “NHL goal scorers” goal with a wicked backhander from the slot.
Mike Smith appears to have returned to form allowing just 2 goals in the three wins, while looking spectacular at times. Dave Tippett is one of the best coaches at getting his teams to buy into his system and this year’s Coyotes are reaping the early rewards.
Tippett was non-committal after last nights game as to if Smith would get the start again in the Coyote net or if Anders Lindback will make his Coyotes debut. Either way the Wild will have their hands full and will need to be ready for a 60 minute battle.
For the Wild it appears that Justin Fontaine will make his season debut and will slot slot in on the third line with Charlie Coyle an Thomas Vanek. The Wild are looking to build on the 2 wins they began the season with as they begin this 3 Game road trip that will take them to LA tomorrow night then to Anaheim on Sunday.
Look for the Wild to have a fast start as they are well rested and chomping at the bit to get after it on the ice for real. They need to take advantage of early opportunities as the Coyotes played last night before traveling home. The road is always a good place to bring teams together and getting off to a fast start tonight can go a long way in building confidence for the rest of the trip.
Let’s play Hockey!