I’m sure some of you are tired of hearing it, we’re tired of saying it, but the Minnesota Wild will aim to make a turnaround in their string of disappointing games since, uh, the Allstar Break against the Boston Bruins. It’s the second game of a long stretch of games at home and two losses at The X would be the worst way to start it.
If the 4.6 goals per game allowed over the past 15 games and the 19 power-play goals allowed over the last 17, didn’t serve as a wakeup call to this swooning team, perhaps the fact that Minnesota have now fallen to a wildcard spot for the first time this season will. Players, including Kirill Kaprizov, have expressed frustration at the lack of success the Wild have been seeing as of late and have stressed the importance of every member of the club working on getting the team back on track.
Unfortunately, if every member is expected to improve to fix this team that will include counting on a goaltender to not let in 4+ goals again tonight. Cam Talbot will absolutely be playing for his job as the starting goalie and either the added pressure of the approaching trade deadline will have him playing like he hasn’t in months or will have him cracking further.
The Wild beat the Bruins in January and the Bruins are likely looking to even the score. Boston can be dangerous (Pastrnak had nine shots on goal last night against Chicago!) but they’re on the second night of a back-to-back so hopefully they’ll have heavier legs than the Wild who haven’t played since Sunday.
Kaprizov - Hartman - Zuccarello
Boldy - Gaudreau - Fiala
Greenway - Eriksson Ek - Foligno
Duhaime - TYSON JOST - Bjugstad
Goligoski - Spurgeon
Brodin - Dumba
Merrill - Kulikov
Cam Talbot is your projected starter. Good luck buddy.
See you tonight for the 6:30 p.m. puck drop.
What impact will new guy Tyson Jost make on his first night with the team?
Perhaps, the brand new and shiny 10th overall draft pick from 2016, Tyson Jost, will help get the Wild back on track. Yesterday, the Wild traded pending UFO Nico Sturm to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Jost, a once projected top-six forward who had been seeing less and less ice time in Colorado but is averaging about 2:00 minutes a night on the penalty kill. Perhaps, joining the Wild (where they’re in desperate need of someone who can wake up struggling special teams) will be just the thing to unlock his offensive upside. Having been traded just yesterday, Jost is already slotted into the lineup centering for Nick Bjugstad and Brandon Duhaime, and will be used on the PK.
What shenanigans if any will we see with Frent Trederic tonight?
Last time Minnesota and Boston met Trent Frederic didn’t make any friends in the state of hockey. Internet dwellers like ourselves lost our collective minds when Frederic hit Kirill Kaprizov hard enough for him to miss the following game. Will we see continued animosity there or will the ensuing fight with Kulikov give them a clean slate?