Mark my words, Minnesota is the favorite to win the Northwest Division. Yes, I know Vancouver has some ungodly record since Christmas, and yes, I know we can't beat the Flames in Calgary, but there are a few key reasons why I believe this:
(1) The Wild's remaining schedule -- 8 of the last 9 are at home. The Blues, Oilers, Kings and Coyotes account for 7 of the remaining 12 games. Plus we get Calgary twice in St. Paul, and it's nos secret how Calgary has been on the road.
(2) Marian Gaborik is healthy -- what is the Wild's record with Marian in the lineup? Last time I checked it was 22-7-4. Gabby and Demitra form perhaps the most lethal combo in the league at this moment.
(3) Goaltending Depth -- name another team with 3 first goaltenders. Backstrom and Harding are both playing on the same level as Kipper and Lunongo and our No. 1 is rested and ready to go.
(4) Vancouver Sucks -- yes, I couldn't get through another post without spilling some animosity northward. Just when I thought my Canuck hatred was lessening, they deal for Brent Soppel. Thank you Vancouver!
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