Afternoon Wilderness. Welcome to your "gotta kill some time before puck drop" preview thread.
The big news of the day is that Zach Parise will indeed be back in the lineup tonight. He spoke to the media after morning skate and according to Chad Graff, he said that the difference is "night and day" between when he came back after taking one game off in November and now.
With Parise back, there is a bit of a line juggle. However, this actually looks really good on paper (can't wait to see it translate to the game tonight to be completely honest). Graninoville and Dany daycare get split up, which brings about a very interesting combination of lines.
Zach Parise, Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter are tonight's first line, with Dany Heatley, Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville on the second. The third line stays the same with Matt Cooke, Kyle Brodziak and Justin Fontaine. That leaves the fourth line as Zucker, Haula and Mitchell.
We all know Jason Zucker is fast. And Torrey Mitchell has jet packs in his skates it seems. Zucker and Erik Haula played most of their season in IA together, so they for sure have chemistry. Finally, after complaining/whining/crying all season (and for some of us it's been MUCH longer than this season) for 4 scoring threats, Mike Yeo has given us exactly what we want.
Tonight's opponents are going to be tired, so the Wild absolutely need to take advantage of that and not have a repeat of Tuesday's game. As WildFan4 pointed out on Tuesday, the Wild are the only team to beat Chicago in regulation twice this season. The Hawks went into extra rounds in the shootout last night, and had to travel from Detroit to St. Paul afterwards.
Either way, tonight should be a great game. See you in a few hours Wilderness!