Minnesota Wild vs. Nashville Predators Game Thread

Ryan Suter facing his old team is perhaps the only really compelling storyline for tonight's game. - Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

The Minnesota Wild host the Nashville Predators tonight.

Hey there, Wilderness?

Yeah, I managed to get this game thread up on time. How cool is that? Not as cool as the fact that the Wild will be playing tonight. The Wild face off against the Nashville Predators tonight, and while I was originally going to make fun of their offense, as they have guys like Eric Nystrom skating in a Top-6 role, I looked at the standings. Turns out, they've got the same amount of goals that the Wild have, in one fewer games. The Wild can't even out-score a team with ERIC F*(|

Your hopes and dreams of seeing Minnesota Native Matt Cullen in the Xcel again is going to have to wait, as he's injured. What you will see is Shea Weber and Ryan Suter back on the ice, even if they'll be playing for opposite teams.

A win tonight will give the Wild a pretty good position in the Wild Card standings to finish their pre-Olympic schedule, which is something that you wouldn't have though would be happening a month ago. And then when the break is over, the Wild will have (knock on wood!) a healthy forward with Koivu's return, and also (knock on wood) a healthy defensive corps with Spurgeon and Scandella both healthy. So, let's get through this game, and we can take a break from the NHL to focus on the best exhibition tournament ever.

Here are your lineups for tonight.

Minnesota Wild
Nashville Perdators

Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville
Dany Heatley Mikael Granlund - Jason Zucker
Matt Cooke Kyle Brodziak - Nino Niederreiter
Mike Rupp Erik Haula - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Nate Prosser - Jared Spurgeon
Keith Ballard - Clayton Stoner

Darcy Kuemper Johan Gustafsson

Eric Nystrom - Mike Fisher - Patric Hornqvist
Nick Spaling - David Legwand - Craig Smith
Gabriel Borque - Colin Wilson - Taylor Beck
Richard Clune - Paul Gaustad - Colton Sissons

Roman Josi - Shea Weber
Michael Del Zotto - Seth Jones
Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis

Carter HuttonDevan Dubnyk

Five Questions:

1. The Wild have a 2+ game shutout streak against the Predators. Can Darcy Kuemper keep that up?

2. The Wild's top line of Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville has one game to play together before Mikko Koivu returns. Can they play well enough to convince Mike Yeo to keep that line together?

3. Marco Scandella appears to be on track to return shortly after the Olympic Break. Can the Wild's defense survive a game without him?

4. How big of a trap-game factor is there with this being the last game before the break? Or playing against a team where Eric Nystrom(!!!) is a first-liner(!!!)?

5. With no games for another week making certain he'll have plenty of time to rest, will Ryan Suter finally play all 60 minutes of the hockey game tonight?

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