1. Backstrom was much better against Buffalo than he had been in a while - maybe all season. Granted, Buffalo is a weak team, but he was on top of his crease, moved laterally well, all signs that he was playing with confidence. With Harding still under the weather, obviously we need Bax. He must build on his game from Thursday if the Wild is going to have a shot tonight.
2. Ballard has struggled of late, and it hasn't been subtle. He is needed now, with Spurgeon out for a bit. This was supposed to be a season where Ballard got his career back on track. Tonight would be a very good time to demonstrate his intention to do just that.
3. Scoring depth was in evidence in the Buffalo game. If that continues, it would go a long way toward keeping the Wild moving in the right direction. Hard to imagine the Caps posting a bagel on the scoreboard, so we will need to find some offense. It's evident Mikko can't (won't) do it himself, so alternative means of scoring goals is necessary.