It's an early Sunday night game for the Minnesota Wild today. Tonight's game against the Calgary Flames will be at the X, in front of the fans that this team has dearly missed the last week (we hope).
Coach Mike Yeo said he will be rolling the same lines that have been playing the last few games. That means Zenon Konopka and Mike Rupp are still out, and Jason Zucker and Mikael Granlund are in.
Which Wild team shows up will be the story of the game. When the Wild are actually playing, they can crush the Flames like a bad habit. When they decide to sit back and relax...well that's how you almost blow a 4-1 lead with 2 minutes to go.
Lots of eyes will be on defenseman Ryan Suter tonight. He's been nursing an injury lately, and was benched for the last part of the 3rd in San Jose. Is he still nursing it, did it get re-agitated, or was it just a precaution?
The Wild are close to clinching their first playoff appearance since 2008. It won't happen tonight, but a win tonight brings them 2pts closer. If I'm reading the stats at SportsClubStats right, if the Wild win 2 games out of the next 4, they are in the playoffs.
There are a lot of other combinations that would get the Wild in the playoffs. But two wins is the quickest (and easiest) way to get it done.
We'll see you back here about half an hour before puck drop for full line ups and the 1st period thread. Enjoy the day Wilderness.