The Wild has returned from a three-game road trip to open a three-game homestand tonight against the best team in the NHL – at least in terms of the standings, the Chicago Blackhawks
That fact alone should keep the Wild from having your typical first-game-after-a-long-road-trip blues, coach Mike Yeo says (hopes).
“Coming back off a long road trip, it’s probably a good thing to be playing the team we are playing tonight,” Yeo said. “We shouldn’t have to worry about a lack of urgency or focus or not being prepared to play. A team like this has a way of bringing out the best in you.”
The Wild is coming off an impressive 3-0 win in Columbus. But even more so than the win, the Wild got back to playing the right way and showed what it looks like when it plays well.
“And especially just finally having a day (Saturday) of practice and seeing us come out execution-wise, focus-wise, just being able to get back to our game, that was [important],” Yeo said. “And seeing the result when we do it. There were a lot of positives.”
The Blackhawks are the best offensive and defensive teams in the NHL, can roll four lines, have starpower everywhere, etc. The Wild needs all four lines going tonight and playing responsibly because Chicago is dangerous and can strike quickly and often. We saw that in Chicago in early March when the game got away from the Wild in a blink of the eye late in the first.
Dany Heatley underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder this morning at the Cleveland Clinic. There is no updated timetable on Heatley, but Yeo said Sunday the hope is he returns before the regular season ends.
Matt Cullen did not skate today and Yeo had no update. “More of an update later. He’s meeting with the doctor today,” Yeo said. Hopefully that’s not a bad sign. I always felt it would be a couple weeks at least with this lower body injury. We will see. Today is one week and one day.
Yeo said they’re hoping to get Josh Harding out with them very soon. He’s still been taking the ice before team skates.
Same lineup tonight against the Blackhawks, meaning defensemen Tom Gilbert and Brett Clark are scratched.
Niklas Backstrom vs. Ray Emery tonight. Patrick Sharp returns for Chicago, because you know, the Hawks don’t have enough firepower.
I’ll be on Hockey Night in Canada Radio on Sirius 207, XM 92 at 2:30 p.m. CT. I’ll also be on the arena cam on NHL Network at 5:40 p.m.ish CT
More from Star Tribune
More from Russo's Rants
The Swede will mostly likely return to juniors or Sweden following training camp
Parise, who missed the playoffs with a back injury, said his MRI on Wednesday looked "fantastic"
The decision was made in response to feedback the team received from a survey it sent to season ticket holders this summer.
The team's home opener is Oct. 15.
The Wild on Thursday signed defenseman Matt Dumba to a two-year, $5.1 million deal. The Wild now has no further unsigned players.
Recommended For You
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is refusing to stand for the national anthem before games because he believes the United States oppresses African Americans and other minorities.
Greg Davids and Paul Torkelson
Good leaders would direct their attention to where they can help, not to where they'll meet head-on with unaddressed costs and litigation.
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says quarterback Tony Romo has a broken bone in his back, and there is no timetable for his return.
A bad funding option beats letting this light-rail project die.
Recommended For You
The judge sentenced Jeff Dubay to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation. Dubay, 48, was caught possessing methamphetamine earlier this year.
Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano hit home runs in the seventh and eighth innings, and Joe Mauer's two-run double in the ninth sealed the win.
Teddy Bridgewater has had a strong camp overall, but he had a rocky display Friday during a passing drill when he was picked off on consecutive plays.
Miguel's abilities remain immense. The question is when will he choose to exploit them to the maximum.
Dave Aranda flummoxed the Gophers with his deceptive blitzing strategies for three years as Wisconsin's defensive coordinator. But after taking a new job, he was open to helping a former rival.