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Gamethread: Wild vs. Rangers (7:00 p.m.)

It’s the first game of the 2022-23 season. HELL YEAH!

NHL Prospects Tournament 2010-11 Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild are starting their 2022-23 campaign with a battle against the pretty damn good New York Rangers tonight.

It is just the very first game of what should be an interesting season, so we’re trying to not get too excited and wrapped up in the result, but screw that. Look at this damn lineup!

Projected Wild lineup

Kirill Kaprizov — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello
Tyson Jost — Joel Eriksson Ek — Marcus Foligno
Matt Boldy — Sam Steel — Frederick Gaudreau
Connor Dewar — Marco Rossi — Brandon Duhaime

Alex Goligoski — Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin — Matt Dumba
Jake Middleton — Calen Addison

Marc-Andre Fleury will start this ultra-important season for the Wild.

While there could be arguments surrounding placements of certain young phenoms, overall, it looks pretty damn good. It features several talented offensive contributors while still having that tried and true make-up of a Wild defensive game.

Plus, Fleury is one goalie you just seem to want in your team’s crease for the first game of the season, apparently.

Now, when it comes to the opponents, the visiting Rangers are dressing a fairly top-heavy lineup but that alone can carry them to win a whole lot of games.

Projected Rangers lineup:

Chris Kreider — Mika Zibanejad — Kaapo Kakko
Artemi Panarin — Vincent Trocheck — Alexis Lafreniere
Jimmy Vesey — Filip Chytil — Barclay Goodrow
Dryden Hunt — Ryan Carpenter — Ryan Reaves

Ryan Lindgren — Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller — Jacob Trouba
Zac Jones — Brayden Schneider

Last year’s Vezina Trophy winner, Igor Shesterkin will be in between the pipes.

They basically check the box of a lot of Stanley Cup contenders. Having an elite goaltender, a handful of forwards that can sway the game, and one dependable Norris Trophy contender that is surrounded by above-average defensemen. Just a whole lot of talent, so it will be an incredible interesting game tonight.

Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. (and after season opening introductions, I’m sure).