As we've been doing all season, we've got three questions for our rival bloggers who cover the teams the Red Wings play. Today, we've got Nathan Eide from Hockey Wilderness to give us an excuse to link over to them. They've certainly got a perspective for us from those who like the Wild.
1. As this is one of those vaunted "Rivalry Night' games on NBCSN, could you tell us a little bit about what the Red Wings/Wild rivarly has meant to you as a fan? I mean... you don't get rivalries much more heated than the Minnesotat Wild vs. the Detroit Red Wings, do you?
Who hasn't gone to bed thinking about the storied history between these illustrious sporting legends? I mean when you think of the battles between Warren Peters and Justin Abdelkader or Stacy Roest and Brent Gilchrist, chills run up my spine and a tear glistens on my cheek.
2. After a bit of a slow start, Ryan Suter has jumped to second in scoring for defensemen and leads the league for TOI/G. I'm going to give you this one as open space to address all the haters who thought that Suter would wilt without his defensive partner Shea Weber.
Suter had a horribly slow start on the offensive end, but was rock solid in his own end. Many argue that the reason his offense fell off though his defense remained strong is that he was making up for his partner. Now that he's paired with Jonas Brodin, who has been the best defenseman on the team (according to those crazy stats), Suter is able to concentrate on leading the break and stepping into the play. Now he's able to act instead of think, and that leads to his style of offensive game. He hasn't been this good in the offensive end in his career, and that's all because he's comfortable with his partner, and Brodin, unlike Weber in Nashville, doesn't attempt 40 shots a game.
3. It's late March and "Division Leading Minnesota Wild" is a thing. Can you tell us about what's gone right for Minny to get them to this point?
Short answer: Jonas Brodin, Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and the fact that the NW still sucks. Long(ish) answer: The dump and chase is finally working because guys like Parise, Setoguchi, Cullen, Koivu, Zucker, Coyle, et al are digging after the puck to create turnovers down low and players are finally finishing their scoring chances. Oh, and having guys like Jonas Brodin, Ryan Suter and Tom Gilbert finally controlling the play and breaking out of the Wild zone for the first time in a decade isn't hurting either.