Minnesota Wild (18-7-3) vs Los Angeles Kings (13-10-4)
Staples Center @ 9:30 PM CDTTelevision: FSN
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or Wild.com
For the LA perspective, check out Jewels From The Crown
|Minnesota Wild||Los Angeles Kings|
Nick Johnson - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley
Dustin Penner - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Just another ho-hum day in Wild land, eh? Matt Hackett gets his first NHL start, and it looks like Backstrom will be the backup in case things go terribly wrong. Josh Harding feels "better," but not good enough to go tonight. With Backstrom backing up, you have to assume that he either doesn't feel 100%, or the coaches are simply not willing to rush him back. Either way... Hackett is your starter.
Not that anyone should have any issues with that after the performance against the Sharks. Hackett will be fun to watch for the full 60 minutes, that's for sure.
In other news, Cal Clutterbuck is out, Jeff Taffe is in. We discussed Taffe earlier today, so go back and read up if you missed it. The short version is, the guy has 175 NHL games, so he isn't exactly out of place. He should be just fine, filling in on the fourth line.
Keep in mind, the lines above are our best stab at where they all will play. Nick Johnson has had some top line time, but who knows, maybe Casey Wellman gets a chance. There will likely be some line shuffling to figureout what will work. Russo says "But it sounds like he'll make his Wild debut on the left wing of Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley." Not sure how long that will last, though. We'll see.
Looking at the opposition, the Kings were part of the Wild's rather terrible showing the last time through the west coast. They figured out the back door shot rather quickly as well, so don't expect them not to try that. They have elite level scoring talent, even if they aren't producing. They can, and given the chance, they will. Jonathan Quick is one of the best in the league, so any chances given will have to be finished.
Just another day in the life, right? Injuries? Whatever. New guys in, hurt guys out. The Church of Yeo continues on.
- One more revenge game. Can the Wild serve it up cold?
- This one, then out of Cali. Can the Wild complete the sweep?
- Matt Hacket with his first NHL start. Do we get a look at the future tonight?
- Wild down three of their top forwards. Can the fill-ins manage?
- One game away from the "magic 30." Is the system installed?