Jump to content
Hockey Wilderness
  • The Wild seeks redemption against the Blues



    5:00PM Central, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota

    TV: Fox Sports-North

    Radio: KFAN 100.3 and affiliates

    Streaming: Fox Sports Go app

    …And then Nate Prosser returned from his second banishment to St. Louis, and the world righted itself. That’s how it plays out, right? The Wild gets its old pal back for a third stint going in and out of the lineup as the seventh defenseman, and Minnesota wins every game for the rest of the year? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s how it plays out.

    The Wild had its most complete game in several weeks on Thursday, knocking off the Golden Knights in the first ever meeting between the clubs to remain UNDEFEATED against the young franchise from Sin City. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but the Wild played legitimate team defense throughout and actually appeared to have everybody working together to keep shooters to the outside. That’s something that was not even close to happening against Winnipeg or tonight’s opponent, St. Louis. In case you have an incredibly short memory span, the Wild lost to Mike Yeo’s Blues exactly a week ago at Scottrade Center by a somewhat embarrassing 6-3 margin.

    FYI, I’m writing this on Friday night, and I’m a few college sodas deep, so if this isn’t my best work ever, forgive me and come back for the next Game Preview. I’ll make sure to knock your socks off with that one. However, I will point out that similar to how we believe we can dance a little better after a few adult beverages, I feel like I’m writing absolute fire right now after consuming all this writing lube. I’ll check the mail in a couple days for my Pulitzer Prize, but in the interim…

    Blues vs. Wild and stuff! Go!


    It’s been seven days since we played these guys. What do you want to know? That they’re still good? Ok, well, I can tell you that they’re still good, and their top line of Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, and Vladimir Tarasenko is still incredible. BUT the Blues have actually fallen out of first place in the Central Division, surpassed last night by the Jets. 

    St. Louis has only played two games since waxing the Wild last Saturday, and it has lost both of those, including a home-ice defeat at the hands of Darcy Kuemper, Marian Gaborik, and the rest of the Los Angeles Kings last night. Worth noting is that Yeo had held Wild owner Jake Allen out of that matchup to rest him for his assumed continuing domination of the Green ‘n’ Wheats tonight. But Carter Hutton gave up a softie to close out the second period and give the Kings a 3-1 lead, so Yeo gave Hutton the hook. Allen was forced into action on his night off, so… who knows? Maybe that will affect Allen a bit this evening? Regardless, the Wild does have the good fortune of catching St. Louis on tired legs.

    Since these teams last played each other, Patrik Berglund finally returned to action after offseason shoulder surgery kept him sidelined throughout the first two months of the season. Berglund scored his first goal of the year last night, St. Louis’s only tally in the 4-1 loss.

    To make room on the roster for Berglund, the Blues waived Prosser. We all know how that turned out.


    The “Daniel Winnik with Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund” experiment appears to have finally come to an end. I’m not exactly sure what the thinking was on this, other than to make for a good defensive trio. Mikko and Granny are good defensively regardless of who the third forward is on the line, though, so why not throw a guy in that can actually present some sort of offensive threat as well? The misguided strategy lasted several games too long, but Jason Zucker returns to the line tonight, as Bruce Boudreau looks to get his Kaptain scoring some goals. Koivu only has four markers so far on the season, though in fairness, he has been outstanding at the other end of the ice.

    On the back end, with Jared Spurgeon out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, Boudreau really needed a couple of his defensemen to step up. After shedding Kyle Quincey prior to Thursday’s game against Vegas, Bruce finally paired Matt Dumba with Ryan Suter for the first time this season. Dumba was outstanding against the Golden Knights in 26:36 of ice time, as he registered six shots, including a blast from the top of the right circle that directly led to Eric Staal’s winning goal at 12:05 of the third period. The pair really does make a lot of sense in theory, with Suter being the reliable, steady veteran capable of covering for the offensively-gifted but occasionally reckless Dumba. I hope to see this pairing stick together for at least a few more games.

    It’s hard to say if Prosser will play tonight or not. Joe Christensen of the StarTribune thinks no, because the defensive pairs looked good last game, but Jessi Pierce of The Athletic thinks yes. I’d have to guess yes, just because of who tonight’s opponent happens to be (the team that waived Prosser after letting him play just one lousy game). The quotes from Prosser’s teammates about his return to yesterday’s practice were definitely smile inducing, and in all honesty, he does fill a need for this team right now. Clearly the guys love him, so maybe dropping Quincey and bringing in Prosser’s positivity really will spark the Wild a bit.


    No Zach Parise, who skated again Friday and is said to be pain free. Spurgeon will apparently be out at least a few weeks per Rotoworld. This is definitely concerning.

    Robby Fabbri is out for the season due to another ACL injury suffered in Training Camp. Magnus Paajarvi injured his foot blocking a shot last night, and is not expected to play tonight, again per Rotoworld.

    The Gamethread will post at 4:30PM Central, so swing on by! Below are the projected lineups, thanks to DailyFaceoff.com. Thanks for reading! 

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...