Once again, it's time to drop the puck for another exciting season of Minnesota Wild Hockey. With all 82 games the Wild are playing this year, finding good games to watch can be difficult. So without further ado, here's the top five games to look forward to this season (in order of appearance date)
1. Nov. 18 2008: Minnesota Wild @ Pittsburgh Penguins: It'll be interesting to see how the revamped Wild match up against last year's Eastern Conference Champions. With a new Wild team sporting additions of Owen Nolan, Marek Zidlicky, and blue liner Marc Andre-Bergeron, we'll see how they match up against a Penguins team that already highlights Crosby and Malkin, along new addition Marian Hossa.
2. Nov. 24, 2008: Minnesota Wild vs. The Washington Capitals: Everybody likes Ovechkin, unless you don't like action. The Caps currently boast one of the most exciting teams in the NHL with a combination of Ovechkin and Semin. The Wild should win this game, but not without ending with a likely five goal game (But with Gabby's groin, probably not all 5 from him.)
3. Dec. 28, 2008: Minnesota Wild vs. The Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks sport one of the best talented young teams in the NHL with the likes of Kane, Sharp, and Toews. Backed by veterans Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith, the Blackhawks eerily resemble what the Wild were some two years ago. So, it'll be exciting to see the Wild play a team similar to one they were not too long ago.
4. Jan. 31, 2009: Minnesota Wild @ The Vancouver Canucks: Soon after the All Star Break (6 days to be exact), the Wild will set up to play at GM Stadium against their division rival the Vancouver Canucks. With the Wild on break for a week or so, a division game against a rival would probably dictate the course the Wild run for the rest of the season as long as they solve Luongo, they're set to go.
5. April 3, 2009: Minnesota Wild vs. The Calgary Flames: Last but definitely not least, the Wild face off in a rematch with Calgary on exactly the same date as last year. Last year, the Wild ended up clinching the Northwest Division with that win, and more likely than not, it will come down to the wire again this year too. If it does come down to the wire, a win against Calgary may propel Minnesota to yet another Division Championship.
With the playoffs in mind, the Wild will prove to be a formidable opponent to all comers. Along with a rejuvenated team and a solid regular season schedule, a playoff future for the Wild seems imminent. As long as the Wild take care of business and win the games they have to win, Minnesota fans don't have to settle for only 82 games.