Game Preview: Wild at Coyotes

EDMONTON, CANADA - OCTOBER 21: Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Edmonton Oilers on October 21, 2010 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)

Niklas Backstrom has struggled in his previous four starts. The Coyotes are hoping that he doesn't turn things around tomorrow night. (Photo Courtesy: PicApp.com)

After having three days off, the Coyotes are back on the ice to face a struggling Minnesota Wild team tomorrow night at Jobing.com Arena.  The Wild come in struggling on a five game winless streak while the Coyotes got a shutout victory on Sunday end a skid of their own.  Minnesota will be seeking revenge after the Coyotes got a 4-2 victory last week in Minnesota.

It is a bit puzzling why a team with as much talent as Minnesota is struggling.  They have elite scorers in Martin Havlat and Mikko Koivu, a solid defense with Brent Burns, Marek Zidlicky and Cam Barker and a good goaltender in Niklas Backstrom.  Backstroom, however, has played pretty poorly though the last couple of weeks.  He is winless and has allowed 20 goals in his previous four starts.  Backstrom has good historical numbers against the Desert Dogs, but he has really struggled on the road so far this season.

Along with their goaltending issues, Minnesota has struggled getting the puck into the net.  Over the past five games, they have scored only 11 goals.  One of the leading scorers the past several years in Minnesota, Andrew Brunette hasn’t scored a single point over that time frame.  Several other Wild players have struggled as well.  Goal scoring can be contagious, whether it be during a hot streak or a cold streak.  Unfortunately for the Wild, they are on a bad cold streak at the moment.

Believe it or not, this struggling Wild squad is a dangerous team going into tomorrow night’s game.  They are a talented team that is due to break out from this five-game slump.  Lets just hope they wait one more game to do so.

Topics: Andrew Brunette, Brent Burns, Cam Barker, Marek Zidlicky, Martin Havlat, Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild, Niklas Backstrom

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