Good morning for sunny Southern California Wilderness!
The Wild elected to have their traditional morning skate yesterday afternoon instead of on game day, most likely so they could do some sightseeing instead of their pre-game nap (please Wild players, just nap. Let's not have another Columbus on our hands).
In news that isn't news, Jason Zucker was recalled by the Wild and will be playing on the 2nd line with Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter tonight. This means that Dany Heatley has been regulated back to the 4th line.
Here are a few Zucker facts and stats to refresh your memory and give you an idea as to what his play has been like with the Iowa Wild this season.
This will almost be a home game for Zucker, who grew up in Newport Beach. For curious minds, that's about a 25 minute drive from Anaheim. Rumor has it that most of his family will be making the trek in to see him play. This will be Zucker's 7th game with the Wild this season, and hopefully be the game where he gets his 1st NHL point of the season.
Zucker is 3rd on the team (Iowa Wild) when it comes to points, and 2nd when it comes to goals scored with 7G and 5A. 4 of those goals are PPGs, which isn't good news for Zucker. Both MN Wild PP units are jam packed at the moment.
The not so fun side of Zucker's stats is his PIM. Zucker leads the IA Wild with 49 minutes. You read that correctly, forty nine minutes in 16 games. Hopefully that is behind him, because if the Wild are going to win this game, they need to stay out of the penalty box.
This will be a tough game for the Wild. Anaheim is a very good team, and have yet to lose at home this season. But the Wild have beaten the Chicago Blackhawks AND the San Jose Sharks in the last week and look like they have recovered from the slide they went through for the last half of November.
Keep the faith Wild fans, this game may turn out different than you expect it to.