UPDATE: Justin Fontaine won't play tonight because of a sore groin. Stephane Veilleux made the trip instead. That means the Wild's only regulars from last season in tonight's lineup are Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Keith Ballard.
The Wild opens the preseason Monday night in Winnipeg. No TV (replay of game at 11 p.m. CT on NHL Network). You can listen live on KFAN and of course the @russostrib Twitter network. Give it a follow. Also give a LIKE to facebook.com/startribunemikerusso.
This will be the lineup coach Mike Yeo brings:
Goalies -- Niklas Backstrom, Ilya Bryzgalov. They will split the game. If you remember that late-season game in Winnipeg last season, Jets fans love to taunt Bryzgalov, and Bryzgalov finds humor in it, too. (see video below)
Forwards -- Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, Justin Fontaine, Jason Zucker, Tyler Graovac, Jordan Schroeder, Michael Keranen, Cody Almond, Brett Bulmer, Curt Gogol, Brett Sutter, Kurtis Gabriel, Zack Mitchell (one will be scratched).
As I wrote last week, coach Mike Yeo doesn't want to close the door on Coyle playing center at times and he will play there Monday.
"I am thinking about trying him at center at some point in camp," Yeo said last Monday. "We are strong through the middle, but he’s a guy that has got things that you would love to have in a centerman. I don’t want to just shut that door."
Defensemen -- Gustav Olofsson, Stu Bickel, Justin Falk, Keith Ballard, Jon Blum, Christian Folin, Dylan Labbe (one will be scratched).
Preseason debuts likely for Gabriel, Olofsson, Keranen and Folin, although his regular-season debut already occurred.
Yeo is really happy with guys like Sutter, Gogol, Mitchell, Labbe. This Gogol kid has made himself noticed. Tough kid.
"Anybody that's in that lineup basically, they've earned that right to be there," Yeo said. "Grao had another good day today. He's starting to look like a player. He's improved a great deal. He's got the offensive tools, and he's showing he's ready to compete and learn the other parts of his game that maybe aren't his strengths. That's how you get better."
The Wild hasn't worked special teams yet. The game group will get an initial run through it at the morning skate Monday and then the Wild will really delve into special teams Tuesday and Wednesday.
In this morning's scrimmage, Bryzgalov and John Curry pitched a first-half shutout. Both made a number of great saves and Bryzgalov looked to shake off the first-day rust. He robbed Nino Niederreiter and then stoned Jason Pominville and Zach Parise at the end.
In the second half, Fontaine scored white's lone goal on Zucker's setup after Brett Sutter's takeaway. Moments later, Mikael Granlund scored from Parise and I believe Pominville. Yeo is loving the play right now of the Parise-Granlund-Pominville line.
"We've really started to see some chemistry between Mikko and Vanek that's been fun to watch," Yeo said. "It's been exciting. I've been really pleased with Thomas so far. I have a whole new appreciation for his skill level and how smart he is. I mean, he's thinking usually two or three plays ahead. So that's been fun, and he's been working."
"He reminds me a lot of myself," Yeo quipped.
Center Kyle Brodziak (back) didn't skate again today. All players not playing Monday will have a day off (one of the mandatory two days off in training camp), so Yeo guesses that after that day off, Brodziak will be OK to practice Tuesday.
Defenseman Guillaume Gelinas also hasn't skated in camp because he's hurt.
By the way, if you didn't see my article on the five ex-Gophers on the Wild camp roster, here it is.
As for the Jets lineup, here's the group expected to play: 7 ELLERBY, Keaton; 45 LODGE, Jimmy; 14 PELUSO, Anthony; 48 KLINGBERG, Carl; 16 LADD, Andrew; 49 BROUILLETTE, Julien; 18 LITTLE. Bryan; 56 LOWRY, Adam; 22 THORBURN, Chris; 59 KICHTON, Brendan; 30 HELLEBUYCK, Connor; 60 COMRIE, Eric; 31 PAVELEC, Ondrej; 62 NOGIER, Nelson; 33 BYFUGLIEN, Dustin; 63 CHIAROT, Ben; 36 MORRISSEY, Josh; 67 FROLIK, Michael; 38 PETAN, Nic; 68 OLSEN, Ryan; 39 ENSTROM, Toby; 70 ALBERT, John; 42 EHLERS, Nikolaj; 85 PERREAULT, Mathieu; 44 BOGOSIAN, Zach.
A few of those guys will have to be scratched.