Tonight the Wild head to Chicago for a tilt with the Blackhawks. After concluding a homestand losing three straight and ending it blowing a three goal lead on Saturday night, Mike Yeo and the Wild are fed up. Minnesota is 1-4-2 in their past seven and Yeo let them hear it at practice this week. Most notably, Ryan Suter voiced his displeasure with Yeo changing things up. As he was paired with (fellow left handed shot) Jonas Brodin instead of (right handed) Jared Spurgeon. Suter spoke to the media on Monday about the changes,
"Like I've said, I need to play with a right-handed defenseman to give me more options, neutral zone, offensively and even coming out of D zone."
Some people were taken back by this (which is a whole ANOTHER topic for a different day) but you can you blame Suter? He has had one of his best starts offensivly to a season. He has 14 points (3-11=14) in the last 14 games and has tallied at least one point in 15-of-22 games this season. But as Mr. Russo and others pointed out, this move could mostly be done because Matt Dumba has been brutal this season. Instead it is the pairings that Minnesota has rolled with for much of the last two seasons which is Suter with Jonas Brodin and Spurgeon with Marco Scandella. Its no secret that the Wild have been bad defensively which is the opposite of what we have seen from the Wild in years past. So maybe that's why Yeo wants to go back to way things used to be.
Devan Dubnyk will return to the pipes tonight. Saturdays collapse to Dallas was not on the shoulders of Darcy Kuemper. Minnesota is 9-6-1 in its last 16 games against Chicago with nine of the contests being decided by one goal. The Wild will have to try to slowdown Patrick Kane who is riding a career best 19 point streak. Puck drop is at 7pm tonight with the gamethread opening at 6:30.