Wild: Scouting the Enemy

Ads are playing in Iowa again? Feels like only yesterday we were just scouting this team. In that game the Ads managed to power past the Iowa Wild in the late stages en route to a 5-2 road victory.

So, what have the Wild been up to since?

The Wild currently sit at the bottom of the Midwest Division standings with a 6-7-0-0 record good for 12 points. They have played in four games since the previous meeting with the Ads and have only come away with one victory: 5-2 road win against the Rockford IceHogs. Like the Ads, they played games on Wednesday and Friday night. Also like the Ads, last night’s game was a rather scrappy affair that ended with a loss. In short, these will be two teams looking for a composed display of hockey with limited mistakes which torched them the previous night. Either that… or we could be in for a sloppy hockey game where mistakes will be there to be capitalized upon.

Transaction report isn’t too active for the Wild coming into this game. A name that does stand out in that list, and is still on the roster as I write this, is veteran forward Mike Rupp. What you come to expect with a guy like Rupp is physical presence that is great on the forecheck but even better on the backcheck. He blocks shots, gets into the dirty areas, and loves to play the game hard. Rupp has never been the biggest goal scorer in his NHL career, a career best of 13 in a season with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009-10, but will crash the net looking for any rebounds that may get spilled. Just thinking about Scott Ford matching up with him makes me smile. I think those two could have a fun game against one-another depending on how shifts circulate and what d-pairing matches Rupp’s line.

Thoughts about this road game? Will we see a bounce back from the Ads or more of what we saw last night? Can the Ads manage to get on the board first? Which player steps up tonight and makes an impact? My money is on Taylor Beck who scored last night… and -prior to that- scored his last goal for the Ads in Iowa before getting called up to the NHL… and -prior to that- he scored a goal against Rockford. Can he make it four goals in four-straight games?

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