Opening Night in St. Louis is finally upon us.
The Wild is 9-4-2 in season-openers (includes a tie in 2001-02), the highest points percentage (.667) of any team in NHL history. None was more exciting than last year when the Wild scored the four fastest goals in team history (5:07 apart) in Denver to stun the Avalanche. Zach Parise had a hat trick that night.
The Wild’s 4-0-1 in its past five season openers, but 1-3-1 when it opens on the road. Bruce Boudreau is 4-5 in season openers and Eric Staal and Teemu Pulkkinen will make their Wild debuts against the Blues, who were fantastic last night in a 5-2 win at Chicago. The Hawks barely could get through the neutral zone and were outshot severely.
Feature today is on Boudreau (click link). It's a run read that includes Wayne Gretzky talking to me about why Boudreau was his favorite player growing up.
Here is an article from Teemu Pulkkinen's first practice and his thoughts of being in Minnesota. Also, some funny Boudreau stuff.
Other features from the week: A fun read on Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle's friendship
Tonight's lineup expected to be
Dubnyk in goal
Extras: Folin and Prosser
Just a reminder, Auston Matthews, who scored four goals in his NHL debut last night, and the Maple Leafs are in Minnesota next Thursday. If you'd like to get the ticket package for that game that includes a Star Tribune Chalk Talk with Wes Walz and I and other perks, click this link.
I'll be on Fox Sports North during the pregame show tonight and on KFAN at 5:30 p.m.
2016-17 key dates
Wednesday: Opening Night in the NHL
Oct. 13: Wild opens at St. Louis
Oct. 15: Wild opens at home vs. Winnipeg
Nov. 14: Hockey Hall of Fame Induction
Nov. 30: U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction
Dec. 19-27: Holiday roster freeze
Dec. 26-Jan. 5: World Junior Championship in Montreal, Toronto
Jan. 2: Winter Classic, Chicago at St. Louis
Jan. 29: NHL All-Star Game at Los Angeles
Feb. 22-26 Wild’s bye week
March 1: Trade deadline
April 9: Last day of the regular season
April 12: Playoffs begin
June 14: Last possible day of the Stanley Cup Final
June 23-24 NHL Draft at Chicago
July 1: Free agency begins