Tonight the Wild look to rebound against Montreal, after a horrid loss to Edmonton on Thursday night. Minnesota played way too cute against one of the leagues most abysmal teams and Torchetti let them have it at practice. No there was not a tirade where he threw sticks like some other head coach but the players definitely received the message. Jordan Schroeder was recalled from Iowa and could slide into Justin Fontaine 's spot on the third line tonight. After being too hot to touch in February, Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter have been held without points in four straight. Jason Pominville will not dress again. Schroeder's presence caught the eye of some players as Mr. Russo pointed out today. He wants these guys motivated, it's not about putting Zucker or anyone in the dog house, it's more of a wakeup call with their season and playoff hopes slipping away. Zucker will be out of the lineup tonight as well as Mike Reilly for the first time since February 9 so Nate Prosser will dress instead. Devan Dubnyk should return to his cage tonight too after missing Thursday's game because of an illness. I'm on team Doobie despite others wanting to see more of Darcy Kuemper
(for whatever reason) down the stretch. This is his cage and he deserves the start in any big game. But to play devils advocate and COMPLETELY contradict myself, the next three games are against non-playoff teams so Kuemper could see some time on this road trip.
Similar to the Wild, Montreal was one of the hottest teams out of the gate this season. They started 9-0 and it looked to be a two-horse race in the East with Washington. Well then Carey Price went down... But then came back! Only to go down again. With Price out, the Canadiens had to lean on rookie goaltender Mike Condon and lets just say it's not going well. Condon could still have a future in this league but he obviously isn't Carey Price and because of this Montreal has found themselves completely out of the playoff picture. Oh and to make matters worse, P.K. Subban left Thursday's game on a stretcher. Tonight will be the first time in Subban's career that he is missing a game because of an injury. So it's a big break for the Wild not having to deal with Subban and Price tonight.
Mikko Koivu turns 33 Saturday.
The Wild has scored at least one power-play goal in a franchise-record 12 straight road games, the longest road PPG streak since Pittsburgh scored in 13 straight, Oct. 5-Dec. 6, 2007.
The Wild is 11-13-2 against the East this season, including a 7-4-1 record against the Atlantic Division.