The Minnesota Wild face the the Edmonton Oilers in what is set up to be a brutal game filled with goonery and hatchet jobs. Which, of course, likely means absolutely nothing will happen and both sides will continue on their way as though nothing happened.
In the last meeting, second line draft flop Taylor Hall threw his now infamous knee-on-knee hit that far too many fans in Edmonton defended as "pay back" and justified by saying that Cal Clutterbuck "deserved it." The rationale is ripe with fan-boy stink, as they are overlooking the obvious problem with throwing your knee out to hurt someone... that you run a very high risk of ending your own career in the process. Even if Clutterbuck deserved it, Hall was about as bright as a first grade bully attempting to give the principal a wedgy.
It might have felt like the right thing to do at the time, and in whatever twisted world Oilers fans live in Clutterbuck may have deserved it, but do you really want the future of your second line ruining his own knee to get revenge?
Hall was suspended two games, while Clutterbuck remains on IR. Hall was "injured" in the last Oilers game, and speculation is that he will not play tonight against the Wild. Shocking information that no one ever could have predicted.
There will also be a hockey game to worry about tonight, which, as mentioned above, will likely be the only story of the night. Both teams need the two points more than they need to worry about the extracurriculars, so the expectation from us is that the game will just be played, with maybe one fight to "calm it all down."
The Wild should be focused on their complete inability to score when presented with the opportunity to do so. several times against the Ducks, the Wild had prime chances, and either shot wide, directly into the goalie, or more frustrating, did not shoot at all. With so much on their minds in terms of revenge, hanging a five spot on the Oilers, and giving their young stars that to return home with, would be much preferred to Zenon Konopka taking yet another ill advised instigator penalty to prove a point.
Game time is 7PM, so you have plenty of time to get your spreadsheets ready for tonight.