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Maple Leafs vs. Wild: No Slumpbusting!

8:00: Leafs TV, AM640 (Radio)
James Reimer vs. Niklas Backstrom
Enemy Territory: Hockey Wilderness

The Wild are coming off a disappointing 8-1 home-ice blowout at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens (hooray?) and will certainly be looking to avenge that loss in front of the home crowd. Wild players admitted to being embarrassed, and will likely come out guns blazing, so weathering the early storm should be key for the Leafs. Of course, blazing guns probably means less coming from a team like Minnesota, who scores an average of 2.51 goals per game (26th in the league), but I suspect that the Leafs are going to have to play a very conservative game to succeed, and at 2.58 goals a game (24th in the league), they're no offensive juggernaut either.

At the moment, the Wild haven't won since they beat the Avalanche 5-2 on March 3rd, which means they have lost six consecutive games - though three of those have been in OT - and are only 2-4-4 in their last ten. The last time they won back-to-back games was Feb 11th-12th.

Think the Leafs are going to fold faster than superman on laundry day? Not to worry, last season, I cobbled together some data that shows that teams getting blown out don't actually stand a much higher chance of winning their next game.

Follow me over the jump for lineup info.

According to Jonas Siegel on Twitter, both Darry Boyce and Mike Komisarek were bag-skated this morning, and will not be in the lineup. Knowing that Komisarek is a scratch is, of course, always bittersweet, since it means more Brett Lebda, but rookie Matt Lashoff looked solid in the Leafs' tilt with Boston, so I'm perfectly alright with Wilson not tinkering with that part of the lineup.

Leafs lineup, again courtesy of Jonas Siegel:

MacArthur-Grabovski-Kulemin

Lupul-Bozak-Kessel

Sjostrom-Kadri-Crabb

Rosehill-Brent-Brown

Aulie-Phaneuf

Gunnarsson-Schenn

Lashoff-Lebda

Reimer

Wild lineup, from their official site:

Brunette-Koivu-Miettinen

Bouchard-Brodziak-Havlat

Kobasew-Cullen-Clutterbuck

Nystrom-Madden-Staubitz

Zanon-Stoner

Prosser-Spurgeon

Schultz-Burns

Backstrom

Notable injuries for the Wild:

Marek Zidlicky (lower body), Cam Barker (upper body), Guillaume Latendresse (lower body) and Marco Scandella (finger) are out.

That's it for me, so pun away, everyone!

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