For just the second time this season the Minnesota Wild have a home game as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets. If you have been asleep for the last 24 hours or just not tuned in with the hockey world, the Blue Jackets fired (former Wild coach and Golden Gopher) Todd Richards and replaced him with John Tortorella. Torts plans to whip this team into shape and still believes the group he's inheriting can still turn it around. Mike Yeo isn't taking his opposition lightly. Columbus has posted 222 hits and averaged 31.7 hits a game through its first seven contests of the season which is second in the NHL. Columbus is certainly a motivated bunch and Minnesota has to be ready for them.
Same lineup for the Wild tonight. Nino Niederreiter is healthy and good to go. Nino generated some serious buzz with linemates Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker on the last road trip. Hopefully Minnesota's third line of; Charlie Coyle, Thomas Vanek and Justin Fontaine can bounce back after being -3 in Sunday's loss to Anaheim. Defensive parings are back to what we saw in the season opener meaning Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin are reunited and so are Marco Scandella and Christian Folin. Dumba has had a similar (poor) start to last season and is trying to be the player we saw in the second half of last season.
Devan Dubnyk vs. Sergei Bobrovsky tonight. Dubnyk is 7-4-2 with a 2.21 GAA, a. 925 SV% and two shutouts in 14 games (12 starts) aganist Columbus in his career. Bobrovsky has been HORRIBLE this season, granted how "bad" can a guy be his team is winless through seven games? But the struggling netminder has always played well against the Wild as he owns a 5-1-0 record with a 1.46 GAA and a .947 SV% in six career starts. Minnesota is winless (0-3-2) in its last five games against Columbus. Puck drop is at 7pm with the gamethread being posted around 6:30. Go Wild!