Last Saturday the Wild fell in overtime for the fourth time in six games losing 5-4 to the Jets on home ice. Minnesota has not won a game since December 13th and have not won in regulation since December 9th. Mikael Granlund was placed on injured reserve yesterday. Dr. Russo told us it was a wrist injury and Granlund underwent surgery today and will be out at least a month. Jonas Brodin is also out, but could return when the Wild head to Columbus later this week. The injury-freight train doesnt stop there, Jason Zucker and Niklas Backstrom are still out with the nasty stomach illness. Oh yeah, and Erik Haula will be scratched for the second time in three games. With the injuries/ineffectiveness piling up, Minnesota has recalled Tyler Graovac and Brett Sutter from Iowa. With two centers out, Minnesota is forced to shuffle things up again.
Suter - Spurgeon
Scandella - Folin
Prosser - Bickel
Granted its mostly due to injuries, but Minnesota is going with some big boppers tonight. Graovac and Cooke really interest me because they can really crack some skulls. Its obviously silly to expect Gravoac/Sutter to stay here but with bickel and (brett) Sutter also in the lineup, this is the most physical the Wild have looked all year. Again, its best to obviously assume that this is not a long term solution, but the lack of physicality Minnesota has showed this year has been alarming. Even with the NHL toning down fighting and wanting to become a "safer" sport, its area that still needs to be addressed.
Darcy Kuemper starts for the Wild tonight, John Curry had to make an emergency start on Saturday as Kuemper
to no suprise of no one fell ill during warmups. On a side note; Dany Heatley was waived by the Ducks earlier today. Who remembers the summer of 2011 when Devin Setoguchi and Heatley were gonna awaken the Wild... Well, now they are both out of a job. Check back at 6:45 for the gamethread.