After what we thought (I thought) would be Darcy Kuemper getting his first start in two months, instead Devan Dubnyk will start for the Wild tonight. It will be doobies' 23rd start consecutive start. Yeo told Mr. Russo that, the moment we take Carolina lightly, it becomes a very frustrating game. Carolina had a frustrating start to their 2014-2015 season, but has played much better since the new year. Carolina is 14-8-3 in 2015, which is tied for the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference during that span. The canes penalty kill is best in the league and have killed 62 of their last 65 penalties during a 30-game span (95.4%). Minnesota has had a rough go of it lately on the power-play as they are just 1-19 in their past 10 games.
Both Jared Spurgeon and Nino Niederreiter took part in an optional skates in Raleigh this morning. There's no need rush either player back too. With the 4th line playing well and with additions of Jordan Leopold, Sean Bergenheim and Chris Stewart, why not just keep them in the press box. With 18 games left in the season, the last thing Minnesota needs is in injury to a core player. Chuck Fletcher didnt give up future picks for healthy scratches, so Nino and Spurg, just take your time, guissss.
Minnesota is 7-6-4 all-time against Carolina and 1-3-2 in Raleigh. Thomas Vanek has been quiet in his past six games, as he as been moved around more than any other Wild player during that stretch. Last time the Wild played Carolina, Vanek had a three point night and he leads Minnesota with 35 points (15-20=35) in 32 matches against Carolina. The Wild have earned points in seven of its last nine games against Carolina (5-2-2). The Wild have won five straight road games, its longest stretch of wins away from Saint Paul since March 2007 and owns the best road-record since acquiring Dubnyk 9-1-2. Another 6pm puck drop, so the gamethread will open at 5:45. GO WILD!