Wild Week in Store for Minnesota

By Chris Kitching

Monday, March 4 to Sunday, March 10

The Week That Was: (3-0-0-1)

A strong week for the Wild as they failed to lose a game during regulation –
their only defeat at the hands of the New York Rangers in overtime – picking
up seven out of a possible eight points. Minnesota received strong offensive
work from their top two lines, and solid goaltending from Dwayne Roloson and
Manny Fernandez.

Tue, Mar. 5: L 2-3 (OT) vs. New York Rangers
– Blown 2-0 lead in the third period.

Thu, Mar. 7: W 3-0 at St. Louis Blues
– Roloson records fourth shutout of the season.

Fri, Mar. 8: W 5-3 at Dallas Stars
– Big win over former Minnesota North Stars franchise.

Sun, Mar. 10: W 5-0 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
– Gaborik: Three goal performance, Roloson: Shutout.


The Week Ahead:

A very light schedule this week for Minnesota as they play only two games,
both at Xcel Energy Center. With the Wild out of the race for a playoff
spot, it will be interesting to see if they tweak their roster leading up to
the NHL trade deadline on March 19, and if they re-sign or move those who
will be unrestricted free agents come July.

Tue, Mar. 12: vs. Ottawa Senators (32-20-8-5, 3rd Northeast)
– An under-rated team in the East with an explosive offense.

Sun, Mar. 17: vs. Phoenix Coyotes (30-22-8-5, 3rd Pacific)
– In a race for one of the final playoff spots in the West.


Player of the Week: RW Marian Gaborik

The play of Gaborik was the main reason for the success of the Wild over the
past seven days. Entering the week, Gaborik had not scored a goal since
January 23 – a span of twelve games – but scored at least one goal in all
four of Minnesota’s games this week, including a hat trick against Columbus
on Sunday. In total, the Slovakian finished the week with seven goals and
one assist in four games, boosting his personal totals to 25 goals and 29
assists.


Trainer’s Room:

D Filip Kuba remains on the injured list with a broken right hand. Kuba has
been skating and is expected to have the cast removed sometime within the
next week. The 25-year-old will rehabilitate the injured hand, but a return
before the end of the schedule is still uncertain.

C Wes Walz is out indefinitely with an injured left shoulder and chest
muscle. Both injuries occurred in practice during the Olympic break. No
return date has been set.


Notes: LW Matt Johnson served the fourth game of a five-game
suspension on Sunday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Johnson was
issued a match penalty March 2 for punching Vancouver Canucks D Mattias
Ohlund in the head during a 6-3 loss….The Wild re-signed C Sergei Zholtok,
30, to a multi-year contract on Sunday, prior to the win over the Blue
Jackets. Terms of the deal were not released. “This season Sergei has
established himself as a valuable member of our team, and we wanted him to
continue to build on his success with the Wild rather than with another
team,” said GM Doug Risebrough.