Ducks should win, but the Wild are starting to put their game together. Won't be easy by any stretch of the imagination. Suter and Brodin will be matched with RPG all night and they're playing very well right now. Coyle - Koivu - Parise will probably avoid playing against Beauchemin / Sourey, since those two are rather good on the walls where the Wild's top line thrive. Instead I'd imagine they'll try to match their top line with Fowler's pairing.
Players everyone should watch on the Wild side:
Brodin is a 19 year old defensemen who's played almost the whole season with Suter and hasn't looked out of place at all. Not much offensive production right now, but really solid and smart on the defensive zone. OEL type player, comparable to Fowler in skating. Should be a force in the future.
Coyle: While everyone is talking about Kassian as the next big power forward, Coyle has quietly played himself onto the top line in the Wild. Not much consistency yet, but he's got the goods, just needs to put it together. Is coming off a great game, some of you have probably seen the "Shift" on Youtube. Check it out, if you haven't.
Zucker: Wild's own Etem. Gaborik type player, fast along the boards and good shot. Playing currently on their second line with Cullen and Setoguchi. I'd imagine the Wild will try to match their second line with Beauchemin / Sourey and try to use their speed to an advantage. Zucker seems somewhat inconsistent also, but I wouldn't be surprised if he scores.
For those who don't know, Granlund is scratched. There's a quiet storm brewing in the Wild regarding this, since they don't want to for some reason send him to Houston but don't want to play him either on the team.
Also, their fourth line is a bruising one and has been surprisingly good. Konopka is solid on the FO's but not much else, while Rupp has been showing surprising playmaking skills plus he's not afraid to play the body or drop the gloves. They can really pin a line onto the offensive end, but surprise surprise, are rather slow.
But yeah, that's a mini scouting report on the Wild (I follow both the Ducks and the Wild quite a lot).
Wow, impressing playing by Coyle indeed. Players just bounce of him. Good thing is that he's not a Shark anymore.
Minnesota is on a hot streak and they should be a tough opponent. Boudreau should consider breaking the RPG if they play Brodin-Suter pair constantly against them. Although, RPG is known to score against top lines so they should still start with it.
Wild's scoring is a bit inconsistent, they need to shut down Parise and Koivu first and hopefully rest of their lines don't find their scoring touch in this game.
All in all, I hope the line juggling could be positive for the team as a whole. Sure, the 3rd line will be weaker without Koivu, but again, the 2nd line actually looks like a decent offensive threat now.
I do not however project a lot of ice time for that 4th line.