It’s not going so great in St. Paul. The Minnesota Wild have lost their first three games of the season in somewhat different disastrous ways. Whether it was a complete failure, an attempt to equalize after going down early, or a quasi back-and-forth match that didn’t go their way; they all ended the same.
So now they’re in experimentation mode and after having top prospect Marco Rossi sit for a game, he’s back in the lineup that head coach Dean Evason unveiled at practice on Wednesday morning. In addition to Rossi’s return to action, Jordan Greenway appears to be healthy enough to take line drills at practice and potentially be included in the upcoming game against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. That will become clearer closer to.
Projected Wild lineup:
Kirill Kaprizov — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello
Jordan Greenway — Joel Eriksson Ek — Marcus Foligno
Matt Boldy — Marco Rossi — Frederick Gaudreau
Brandon Duhaime — Sam Steel — Tyson Jost
Jake Middleton — Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin — Matt Dumba
Alex Goligoski — Calen Addison
Damn. Well, that’s a hell of a lineup and something we like to see. Let’s just break it down point form because that’s what is easiest.
- After being replaced by Tyson Jost on Monday, Ryan Hartman is back in the top center role but it still feels like it’s fairly up for grabs, especially if he doesn’t perform super well on the upcoming road trip next week.
- Jordan Greenway is back and reunites the most dominate two-way forward line in the entire sport.
- Marco Rossi and Matt Boldy are playing together — bananas! — and with Frederick Gaudreau, who provides a perfect defensive cover if the two young phenoms ever need some sort of safety net. But they’re both fairly responsible in their own end anyways.
- Connor Dewar and Mason Shaw leave the lineup to get replaced by Jost and Sam Steel, who find themselves demoted but might just form an excellent fourth line with Brandon Duhaime that can surprise and shock the much crappier fourth-line players playing on other teams.
- The blue line will probably stay the same for a while, until Calen Addison takes over the world.
Well, it’s going to be some game to watch on Thursday against the Canucks and an even more important road trip after that. If everything falls the way it should with this lineup, the Wild might even find themselves above .500. They do still have to win their first game though. Baby steps.