Nino Niederreiter has an extra $200 to spend on a steak dinner or maybe a spa service or something during his bye week I'm sure to a luxurious far off land.
The NHL rescinded the game misconduct he received for interference Thursday night against Dallas, multiple sources say. The $200 he saves is less important than the misconduct coming off his record. According to rule 23:6, In regular season League games, any player who incurs a total of two (2) game misconduct penalties in the “Physical Fouls Category”, before playing in 41 consecutive regular season League games without such penalty, shall be suspended automatically for the next League game of his team. For each subsequent game misconduct penalty, the automatic suspension shall be increased by one game.
Niederreiter was relieved when I told him.
"It happened so quickly. [Radek] Faksa almost tripped me, I lost balance, I didn’t see [Patrick] Sharp coming and I don’t think he saw me coming. I just knew [John] Klingberg was right behind both of them, so I couldn't go anywhere else," Niederreiter said.
On the major penalty he received, Niederreiter said, "Thank God it happened at the end of the game and they didn’t score."
Wild and Nashville Predators, a potential first-round matchup, tonight. The Preds are coming off the bye and didn't practice yesterday because they had to fly here.
Through Friday, teams were 3-9-2 coming off byes. In February, teams coming off byes were 0-5-1, with five losing 5-1, 6-3, 4-1, 5-0 and 5-3.
"I’m certainly not going to say [to my players], 'Hey, teams off the bye week have been struggling, so let’s take it easy,'" coach Bruce Boudreau joked. "These guys will be ready for us, I know that. We’re looking at them as a well-rested, healthy team ... and one of the few teams that have beaten us in this building. We know our hands are full. We’re going to play accordingly. These guys have been tough."
Looks like Jonas Brodin's back tonight for the Wild after breaking a finger Jan. 17. Bruce Boudreau said it's up in the air and that he's still on injured reserve, but Brodin thinks he's in, so I'd think he comes off IR later today.
My guess is they'd ease him back in the lineup with ice time after missing 14 games. Nate Prosser would come out, so I'd guess Brodin plays the right side of Gustav Olofsson, whom I wrote about today.
Please give that a read. If I'm right about that pair, Marco Scandella will be the second pair with Christian Folin.
Remember, up to this season, Brodin, a left D, has played mostly right D for the Wild, so that ability is valuable.
"I feel 100 percent and I’ve done a lot of work lately and I feel 100 percent," Brodin said. "I think it’s going to take a couple minutes to get used to it again. I’ve missed 14 games now so of course it’s going to be, it’s going to go fast out there, but I think I’m ready for it and it’s going to be exciting."
Matt Dumba (knee) also took part in this morning skate. Boudreau said if he has a good practice Monday, maybe he could return Tuesday against Chicago. By him saying Monday, I'm thinking Sunday's practice is likely to be scrapped.
Ryan Carter signed a pro tryout with Iowa. He'll debut against Cleveland tomorrow. His goal is to still sign a contract with Minnesota by the trade deadline to provide depth and be playoff eligible.
Zack Mitchell was sent down yesterday, so same lines tonight.
The Wild, 3-1-1 on its eight-game homestand, plays its penultimate game before its five-day bye.
The Wild is 13-4-3 against the Central Division after going 14-10-5 inside the division last season. The Wild’s 12-9-3 against Nashville in the past 24 meetings (13 one-goal games) and 4-4-1 in its past nine against Nashville at home.
Jason Pominville has 18 points in the past 14 games. Leading scorer Mikael Granlund has at least a point in 15 of the past 18 games. Mikko Koivu is first in Wild history with 133 multi-point games and 80 multi-assist games and has 37 points in 40 career games against Nashville. Predators left wing Viktor Arvidsson was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week last week with seven points in four games, including a hat trick. Center Filip Forsberg has 14 goals in the past 29 games. Goalie Pekka Rinne is 14-8-4 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .913 save percentage against the Wild.
The Wild is 38-13-6 with a conference-best .719 points percentage, 3.28 goals per game and 21.7 percent power play. Last season, the Wild was 38-33-11 with a .530 points percentage, 2.60 goals per game and 18.5 percent power play.