Everyone still hanging in there? The Minnesota Wild play hockey again tonight, going up against the New Jersey Devils and hoping to get a win at home.
Wild vs Devils
When: 7:00 p.m. CT
Where: Xcel Energy Center
TV: BSN, BSWI, MSGSN
Radio: KFAN 100.3 FM
The post-All-Star Game break has not been good to the Wild, and they’ve yet to win a game in the month of February. Not good news this far into the season and the Devils are a hard team to break a losing streak against, but hopefully dropping three in a row motivates the Wild to win this one.
The Devils have had an incredible season for the most part, especially considering their bottom-of-the-league standings in previous years. They’re second in their division, tied for third in the whole league, and have a young core full of up-and-coming stars. Before he got injured, Jack Hughes was averaging two points per game. Jesper Bratt and Dougie Hamilton are also close behind, with 52 and 51 points respectively.
If the Wild can pull it together by generating some scoring chances and tightening up their defense against the Devils’ energetic offense, they might just be able to walk away from this game with a point or two in hand.
Projected Wild lineup
Kirill Kaprizov — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello
Brandon Duhaime — Joel Eriksson Ek — Matt Boldy
Jordan Greenway — Frederick Gaudreau — Marcus Foligno
Mason Shaw — Connor Dewar — Sam Steel
Jake Middleton — Jason Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin — Matt Dumba
Jon Merrill — Calen Addison
Filip Gustavsson is expected to start in net for the Wild.
Jonas Brodin is back on the blue line after missing some time with a minor injury, and we’re seeing a brand new lineup come from the mind of Dean Evason. Eriksson Ek and Boldy join forces with defense-disturber Duhaime; and in turn, the center’s typical linemates are now getting centered by Gaudreau. Plus, Ryan Reaves appears to be a healthy scratch on what would be his 800th NHL game, with Mason Shaw coming in the lineup to form a very young fourth line.
This could be the lineup for tonight, but after the last few losses, changing the lineup is expected. A shakeup might be what the team needs to be rejuvenated and back to their pre-break self.
Projected New Jersey lineup
Ondrej Palat — Nico Hischier — Jesper Bratt
Yegor Sharangovich — Erik Haula — Fabian Zetterlund
Tomas Tatar — Dawson Mercer — Alexander Holz
Miles Wood — Michael McLeod — Nathan Bastian
Jonas Siegenthaler — Dougie Hamilton
Ryan Graves — Damon Severson
Kevin Bahl — John Marino
Vitek Vancek is expected to be the starting goalie.
Jack Hughes is out with an upper-body injury, and Brendan Smith is also day-to-day. Hughes’ absence eases a little of the pressure on the Wild, but Captain Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt are both players to watch tonight.
Puck drops at 7:00 p.m.
Will Kirill Kaprizov continue his points streak?
Kaprizov currently has points in the last eight games he played, and we’re sure he’s looking to extend it. Will he make it nine games, or will tonight be the night he’s held off the scoresheet? We certainly hope it’s the former.
Stay Wild, friends.