Big day for story lines, folks. First, Matt Cullen plays in his 1,000th NHL game tonight. Russo has a great piece on that, so we'll give you our contribution here: Jared Spurgeon was 7 years old when Cullen skated his first NHL shift. I'd say that should make Cullen feel old, but I am only three years younger than he is, so it doesn't make me feel much better.
Second, Brent Burns returns to Saint Paul for the first time since being traded to the Sharks. This would not be such a big deal if it were, say... Chuck Kobasew, but Burns is one of the most popular players to ever don Iron Range Red, and was certainly one of the players no one ever thought would be gone. Tonight, he steps back on the Xcel Energy Center ice for the first time in teal & black. Should be emotional for more than just him.
Plenty of reason to be there tonight, folks. Occupy the X.
1,000 games: Matt Cullen's rink reminiscence | StarTribune.com - Good stuff, old man.
Homegrown Wild center Matt Cullen to play in 1,000th NHL game - TwinCities.com - The view from the other side of the river.
Chart: Matt Cullen's top five NHL memories | StarTribune.com - Who would have thought winning the Cup would be #1?
Cullen Approaching 1,000th NHL Game | - He's there.
Naysayers beware! | StarTribune.com - Read the quote from Yeo in the first 'graph. This guy could lose all 82, I'd still want him around just for the quotes.
Struggling Scandella gets sent to Aeros | StarTribune.com - Who's taking bets on how long this lasts?
Wild-San Jose game preview | StarTribune.com - A little preview action.
Heatley shoots, he ... doesn't score much | StarTribune.com - Chip Scoggins explores the issue of scoring. Not that we think that's a big deal at all.
The Wild have their blinders on in wake of skid - Not sure blinders are the best option, but whatever it takes, I guess.
Sharks face off against the struggling Wild - Fear The Fin - Pretty good preview from Fear the Fin, post at... 3:01AM local time. Yikes. (Make sure you check out FtF. Great people. SOme of the best on the network.)
Mercury News - All your Sharks news needs.
Tending the Fields
Station Nation: Coyle Expected To Debut Thursday - Good to know.
Off the Trail
The Jack Jablonski Fund - Consider making a donation to the fund. This goes directly to the family for Jack's care. There is also a rather nice t-shirt available.
Despite tragedies, hockey reformer finds resistance to change | StarTribune.com - Let me sum this one up for you: people are stupid, and want their kids to live the life they never got to. My take? Be a parent. Protect your children. Your job is to keep them alive, not turn them into everything you never were.
Wild coach Mike Yeo on Jack Jablonski's injury: "This is one of our own here ... and believe me, we're hurting" - TwinCities.com - Sometimes, you see the things semi-celebs do and there is a tinge of falsehood. The comments and concern from Yeo certainly ring out as genuine.