This is one game the Minnesota Wild don’t really need right now. They’re feeling good after going 2-0-1 in the first three games without star Kirill Kaprizov, so of course they’re facing the top team in the entire league to ruin that good feeling.
Wild vs. Bruins
When: 1:00 p.m. CT
Where: Xcel Energy Center
TV: BSN, BSWIX, NESN
Radio: KFAN 100.3
The only glimmer of hope is that the Boston Bruins recently suffered back-to-back losses to the Detroit Red Wings and the absolutely terrible Chicago Blackhawks. That is kind of embarrassing, so maybe they are just checked out for the rest of the regular season after already breaking historic records and clinching the postseason eons before any other team.
We can hope.
Projected Wild lineup
Sammy Walker — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello
Marcus Johansson — Joel Eriksson Ek — Matt Boldy
Sam Steel — Frederick Gaudreau — Oskar Sundqvist
Mason Shaw — Connor Dewar — Ryan Reaves
John Klingberg — Jared Spurgeon
Alex Goligoski — Matt Dumba
Jon Merrill — Calen Addison
The Wild are still hurt by injuries, but they are edging closer to a return. Jonas Brodin leads all his hurt teammates as the player closest to returning to action, but Brandon Duhaime and Marcus Foligno just returned to team practice in non-contact jerseys. Jake Middleton is still sick with a non-COVID illness, so he’s out of the lineup temporarily.
This lineup will have another chance to impress but after the 8-5 win over the St. Louis Blues, we know it can be chaotic. Players like Walker and Steel, and even Shaw, won’t be part of a fully healthy lineup, so now is the time to show head coach Dean Evason what they can contribute and play for the ability to be in the playoffs.
Projected Bruins lineup
Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Jake DeBrusk
Pavel Zacha — David Krejci — David Pastrnak
Tyler Bertuzzi — Charlie Coyle — Trent Frederic
Jakub Lauko — Tomas Nosek — Garnet Hathaway
Matt Grzelcyk — Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm — Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort — Dmitry Orlov
Linus Ullmark is projected to start but it could always be Jeremy Swayman getting the road net.
This Bruins team is still dangerous — even if they recently lost to Chicago — so there is no possibility of them being taken lightly. On-paper, you can really see no weakness as they are strong from top to bottom, from the first to the 20th man. It’s hockey, so weird things can happen, so maybe the hope is that they had a terrible trip over here.
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