Afternoon Wilderness, tonight the Minnesota Wild make a pit stop at home as they host the Ottawa Senators. Chuck Fletcher added depth at the trade deadline yesterday acquiring Jordan Leopold and Chris Stewart. Leopold's daughter wrote a letter asking for her, "Daddy to come home" which was all over the social media world and she got her wish. The Wild sent a 5th round pick and Justin Falk in exchange for the former Golden Gopher and Hobey Bakey winner. Yesterday on KFAN Paul Allen had to this say about the HW community towards the Leopold speculation.
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Now maybe PA was just anticipating us bashing the move, when in fact, we were FOR the move. Hell, maybe he meant Hockey Wilderness in just a broad sense (although he does follow us on twitter). Although (at least I'm assuming) we haven't met Jordan or his daughter, we hear at HW are all fans of the Leopolds and we certainly dont hate his daughter. Shortly after the trade, The Noogie featured what Leopold will bring to the Wild and so did Barry Campbell as his piece can be found here. I'm glad PA peaks at the Wilderness site, but its too bad he assumed we were against it. Leopold will dress tonight and be paired with Christian Folin.
Jared Spuregeon and Marco Scandella are both out tonight. Dr. Russo told us Scandella wont be back for at least a week but Spurgeon did take part in morning skate for the first time since suffering his concussion. Mike Yeo hopes he can return to the ice on Thursday. With half of its top 4 out, Nate Prosser and Matt Dumba will look to continue their impressive play filling the void left by Spurgeon and Scandella.
Minnesota also acquired Chris Stewart from Buffalo moments before the deadline giving the Wild even more depth. With injuries piling up to forwards, Chuck Fletcher wasn't taking any chances even with consistent play from Fontaine and Schroeder. Yeo also told the "vox in the box" (Paul Allen) that he'll have Stewart paired with Mikko Koivu and Thomas Vanek. Which will definitely be one to watch. Stewart has been criticized in the past for his lack of effort despite being a big-cat at 6' 2", 230 pounds. We all know how consistent Vanek is on the back-checking and general effort. Which again makes for quite the pairing.
One of the first takes after acquiring Stewart was, who was going to the odd-man-out? Jordan Schroeder will be scratched tonight to make room for Chris Stewart. Yeo didn't want to scratch anyone no the 4th line and rightfully so. Sean Bergenheim will be paired with Nino and Charlie Coyle to fill the spot left by Schroeder. Devan Dubnyk starts for the Wild tonight, which is a franchise record 21 straight starts. Dubynk is 1-0-0 with a 1.80 GAA and a .933 SV% in two games (one start) against Ottawa. This is the 8th meeting at Xcel Energy between these two, with Minnesota winning just once, owning a record of 1-4-2 against Ottawa in St. Paul. Phew. That'll do it for the preview, check back at 6:45 for the gametherad. Go Wild!