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Preview: Wild host Knights after a VERY eventful trade deadline

Hopefully locker-room changeups don’t shake the confidence of a team finally winning some games again.

Minnesota Wild v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images

While my head is literally always in hockey mode, I find it a bit hard to fathom pivoting to a game tonight when I’m so utterly consumed with trade deadline panic/anxiety/gossip. But a game there will be! In fact, we’ll get to see the Wild against an old enemy, the Vegas Golden Knights for the third time this year.

And despite us all being on a post deadline come-down, this game should be interesting; both teams are on a small string of wins despite undergoing some pretty severe adversity over the past month. Minnesota, obviously, after a pretty ugly February and early March, seems to have figured out something over the past few games with satisfying wins against Boston and Chicago. Vegas, on the other hand, had perhaps one of the best goalie tandems in the league last season between the Flower and Robin Lehner, now have neither with the former they traded away for peanuts and the other is out long term with an injury. So they’re having to rely on backups for their backup goaltenders Logan Thompson and Lauren Brossoit. Despite this, Thompson had a great game Saturday.

Vegas, in fact, is nearly out of the playoff picture. But I definitely don’t think it would be a good idea for Minnesota to rest on their laurels. This might mean Vegas will only play harder and more desperately. Minnesota has yet to face them with Jack Eichel amongst their ranks, although he might be playing with a hand injury? Minnesota is likely looking for a bit of a revenge game too as they have yet to beat Vegas after Vegas tossed them out of the playoffs in game seven. So both teams are coming in with axes to grind, it should certainly be entertaining.

Projected lineup (shakeup trades permitting):

Kaprizov - Hartman - Zuccarello
Boldy - Gaudreau - Fiala
Greenway - Eriksson Ek - Foligno
Duhaime - Jost - Deslauriers

Goligoski - Spurgeon
Brodin - Dumba
Merrill - Kulikov

In net: ??????? Cam Talbot ??????

See you tonight for the 7:00 p.m. puck drop.

Burning Questions

Does new tough guy Nic Deslauriers make anybody cry?

My initial reaction to the Deslauriers trade was a bit “uhhhh, what?” We’ve got a pretty crowded 4th line already, a 3rd-round pick back seemed steep for a guy who plays 12 minutes a night but not expensive-expensive, I didn’t hate it, but I found it a bit baffling. However, I think I’ve come around. At the very least, I am absolutely open to the other team second guessing messing with Kirill Kaprizov if they know the next time there’s an opportunity Deslauriers will make them regret ever being born. He’s also strong enough defensively with experience on the PK and like newbie Tyson Jost will probably be asked to help Minnesota’s struggling special teams. Let’s hope we see some good fights and frothing at the mouth tonight! I love chaos!

Uhhhhh, what’s going on with goaltending? How’s Cam going to take his demotion?

MINNESOTA WILD GOALTENDER MARC-ANDRE FLEURY!??!?!?!!? Kaapo Kahkonen to San Jose???? Trade deadline day is a TRIP, y’all. Can someone call my doctor and see what several heart attacks in a matter of minutes does to a person? Completely situationally appropriate shouting and dramatics aside, we won’t see the WILDFLOWER as our netminder tonight. Dude’s gotta move. So Cam will have to step up and play Vegas despite just finding out he received a bit of a demotion. Hopefully going from the certifiable starting goaltender to probably a 1b won’t shake the confidence he was just starting to get back too much.