Minnesota Wild @ Colorado Avalanche: Game preview

Thearon W. Henderson

The Wild take on the Avalanche tonight at 8pm

There have been a few key line-up changes since Thursday's game. Jason Zucker, who was a healthy scratch for the Sharks game, was reassigned to Iowa. This made room for Erik Haula to be recalled, and he joined the team yesterday in Denver.

Haula's recall has allowed the Wild to scramble the line-up, which hopefully jump-starts some scoring from key players. Haula will be centering the second line, with Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville as his wingers.

This allows Charlie Coyle to flip up to first line winger alongside Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise. Coyle has been struggling to replace Mikhail Granlund at the 2C spot, which has led to a rough few weeks for the young forward.

Tonight's game could get interesting. Yeo was as heated and upset as I have ever seen him after Thursday night's game. The team had a long, and I mean almost missed their plane (San Jose has a curfew for air traffic) long, team only meeting immediately following the Sharks game.

Most likely Justin Fontaine will be sitting in the pressbox tonight. He had a horrible game against the Sharks, and while Dany Heatley has been...beyond frustrating to watch, he did manage to go the entire game without a turnover. So, progress.

It appears that Semyon Varlamov will be in net for the Avalanche. According to our friends over at Mile High Hockey,Varlamov has been struggling when there are lots of bodies in front of the net. Which ironically, the Wild have been struggling to do. Hopefully this will push the team into getting it done.

Colorado has had a tough stretch lately. They have had 5 games so far in December, and have gone 2-3. The Avs dropped games to Edmonton(an 8-2 loss btw), Phoenix, Vancover, and barely winning in a SO against Winnipeg Thursday night.

Minnesota has had 6 games so far this month, and have gone 3-3. The losses have been to Anahiem, San Jose and Columbus, but the wins have been against Philly, Chicago and San Jose.

It will be a tough game, but I expect the Wild to walk out of the Pepsi Center with at least a point. And hopefully a coaches fight, since Mike Yeo is one of the only (if not only) coaches in the league trained in MMA. See you in a few hours Wilderness!

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