5:00 Start, On VERSUS
You might think a contest between the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings was kind of boring, but you'd be wrong. DEAD WRONG. Tonight's awesome because it has one of my favorite match-ups in the league: Anze Kopitar versus Mikko Koivu. I mean, it shouldn't be, because Koivu beats Kopitar's ass, but I still like it. Koivu's one of the best shutdown centers in the league and the Wild use him to shut down Kopitar whenever they get a chance. So far he's done a great job. Take a look at Kopitar's numbers on the road against the Wild:
09-10: 2 games, 0 points, +2
08-09: 2 games, 1 goal, -1
07-08: 2 games, 0 points, -2
06-07: 2 games, 2 assists, even
Total: 8 games, 1 goal, 2 assists, -1
Now here's Mikko in those games:
09-10: 2 games, 3 assists, +1
08-09: 2 games, 3 assists, -1
07-08: 1 game, 1 assist, even
06-07: 2 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, +1
Total: 7 games, 1 goal, 7 assists, +1
OVerall, the Wild are 4-2-1 at home against the Kings since Kopitar came into the league, and I'd say a large part of that is the effectiveness with which Koivu shuts him down. Koviu's tricky because he's Kopitar's physical equal; he's as fast and as strong as Kopitar. Kopitar only runs into trouble when he finds people who can skate with him and luckily there are not many people in the league that can do that. It's kind of ameasuring stick for Kopitar: if he can beat Koivu, that means he is one of the top centers in the league. He'll get there someday. Maybe he'll get there tonight.
Catch the excitement!
(*Styx plays for some fucking reason, Goddammit Versus)
Prediction: Kings lose, 10-0. Goals by Mikko (x10). MIIIIIKKKKKOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!