Morning from the X, where back-to-back 5-2 home losses caused a management reaction this morning.
The Wild has reassigned defenseman Nate Prosser and center Warren Peters and recalled forwards Casey Wellman and David McIntyre. McIntyre, acquired this offseason from the New Jersey Devils for Maxim Noreau, will play tonight against Tampa Bay, meaning he'll make his NHL debut.
McIntyre will center a fourth line that coach Mike Yeo hasn't been happy with of late. Last night, as I mentioned on Twitter, he kept throwing them out to gain energy and momentum after goals against, and they'd spent the entire shifts in their own zone. Colton Gillies will be scratched.
Coach Mike Yeo calls McIntyre fast and tenacious, and he certainly showed that during a few impressive preseason games. Yeo has not been happy with Gillies' play of late, and he thinks Wellman and McIntyre can add a little "life."
Wellman leads the American Hockey League with seven power-play goals and ranks seventh with 11 goals. It sounds like he'll start on the fourth line with a chance to move up if he plays well. Yeo said he's not a believer in just giving ice time. He's got to earn it.
The Wild didn't skate this morning, but my guess is Cal Clutterbuck, who has four goals in eight games and has been shooting the puck a ton, will skate with Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley. I'm thinking Devin Setoguchi skates with Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
The Wild also activated defenseman Greg Zanon off injured reserve,
so don’t be surprised if Zanon returns from a groin injury for the first time in 17 games and Mike Lundin makes his Wild debut, likely for banged-up and suddenly-struggling Justin Falk. and he will return tonight for the first time in 17 games. Mike Lundin will also make his Wild debut after missing all season with a back injury.
Lundin will be paired with Nick Schultz, playing the right side. Greg Zanon will be paired with Clayton Stoner. Marco Scandella is paired with Jared Spurgeon and Justin Falk, banged up, will be scratched.
I'd assume Mathieu Garon starts for Tampa Bay tonight. The Lightning is coached by Guy Boucher, now amazingly the longest tenured Southeast Division coach with today's firings of Bruce Boudreau in Washington and Paul Maurice in Carolina.
Also, I talked to Clutterbuck, and it was Clutterbuck who sprayed Jarome Iginla in the visor with a water bottle after he says Iginla taunted the Wild bench. Clutterbuck also clarified it was Gatorade, not water.
Coach Mike Yeo said he will come back with Niklas Backstrom tonight and give him a chance to respond.
Lastly, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Wild prospects Brett Bulmer and Zack Phillips have been invited to Canada's world junior camp.
Talk to you tonight. Happy Cyber Monday everybody!