After four days off with the goofiest schedule in the league, the Wild return to action tonight hosting the (formerly Ryan Suter's) Nashville Predators. Minnesota won't be back on the road for another week and have (per usual) been perfect at home this season. Nashville has an identical record to Minnesota,, going 7-2-2 through eleven games. Last year, the Wild went 3-1-1 against the Predator, who (like the Wild) are talented group in a crowded Central division.
With Tyler Graovac and now Justin Fontaine out long term, Jordan Schroeder has a chance to run away with a opportunity. Schroeder a former first round pick (and Golden Gopher) has great speed but has yet to leave enough of an impression to stay long term. He'll skate with Charlie Coyle and Thomas Vanek tonight. Mike Yeo and the rest of the world are waiting for Parise-Granlund-Pominville to break out. Mostly the latter two, Pommer is still goalless this season and Granlund has been just as disappointing. The coaching staff isn't touching the Koivu line, and would rather not tinker with Coyle shifting around with their lack of centers as is.
Nine of the last 16 contests between the two teams have been decided by one goal. Nashville has played in seven one-goal games (4-1-2 record) this season too. Devan Dubnyk is expected to start tonight and has gone 6-3-2 with a 2.27 GAA, a .926 SV% and one shutout in 12 games (11 starts) against Nashville. Pekka Rinne who was one of the best goaltenders in the league last year. Rinne is 11-6-3 with a 2.27 GAA, a .917 SV% and three shutouts in 21 games (19 starts) vs. the Wild. Puck drop is at 7pm with the gamthread opening at 6:30. Go Wild!