Update: Colton Gillies joins Carson McMillan as a callup for Sunday's game at Detroit.
I'm at the Swarm game!
Remember all that stuff I wrote about how the Wild shouldn't bring up the kids because the Houston Aeros could be on the verge of something special?
Forget all that.
The Wild's got no choice now that its own players are dropping like flies.
For the first time, the Wild had to use four rookie defensemen tonight with Cam Barker still out with a back injury, Nick Schultz done for the season with post-concussion syndrome (see below blog) and Marek Zidlicky out with a groin/hamstring injury.
Maxim Noreau, long wanting to prove he can play in the NHL, will get his shot now. He looked good in a 3-1 loss to Tampa. Justin Falk was also recalled, and the other rookies were Jared Spurgeon and Clayton Stoner.
We'll see how they handle a faster pace in Detroit Sunday against guys like Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Holmstrom, Franzen, Cleary, Bertuzzi, etc.
Then, in the first period, center John Madden sustained a lower-body injury, and now 2007 seventh-round pick Carson McMillan will get to make his NHL debut at the Red Wings. Talk about an NHL initiation.
Then, Martin Havlat didn't make the trip either to Detroit, so they'll have to call up ANOTHER forward. Whichever forward gets the honor of joining the Mighty Minny Wild will be playing in fourth game in four days.
If the Wild's not careful, it'll destroy the Aeros, too.
Not sure what's wrong with Havlat right now, but he was rocked by Mattias Ohlund coming across the blue line in today's game. He did stay in the game and didn't leave for the 15-minute window if the team suspects a head injury.
As for the game, the Wild competed, outshot the more talented Lightning 30-23 but basically got caught on three goals against. Plus, Dwayne Roloson was awesome with 29 saves.
The first goal Brent Burns collided with Roloson after Roli made a great save on Burns' pinch. But the Wild got caught with four deep, Burns couldn't get back and Pierre-Marc Bouchard's coverage on the backcheck was not good.
The second goal, Burns didn't make the play in front of the net, but it came after a weak Chuck Kobasew battle behind the net with Steve Downie.
Then, a 2-1 game, Wild's right there, and Burns loses his marbles for a sec and tries to dive to save the offensive blue line. Not only doesn't he stop the puck, but Mikko Koivu falls over him. 2-on-1, and goal. 3-1. Game over.
As coach Todd Richards said after the game, Burns' negatives tonight outweighed his positives, and frankly, it's been that way most the second half. I just think his future is in his head right now.
As much as a Marco Scandella-Brent Burns tandem for the next several years excites some, it's plays like this that make me think Burns will get shopped and maybe traded this summer.
The Wild's got to figure out a way to make some significant changes this summer, and it's not going to come via free agency and it's not only going to come with a coaching change and it's not going to come by just praying Mikael Granlund and Johan Larsson are ready for the NHL.
They're 19 years old, and considering how much time Granlund's missed this year and how little experience Larsson even has on the big team in Sweden, who knows if they're even here, let alone good enough to make an impact.
The Wild just don't have a ton of assets to move to make something significant happen. Except for one.
So GM Chuck Fletcher is going to have to get creative this summer, and one way may be dealing Burns. I just can't imagine right now the Wild's going to be willing to throw a long-term deal worth $5 million plus at Burns right now.
That's a pretty big risk for a team that's margin for mistakes right now is at zero.
That's it for me. I've got to go to Detroit because I've lost my marbles, too.