Wild and Winnipeg Jets tonight at Xcel Energy Center. Reminder: 6 p.m. start.
I'll be on Fox Sports North during the pregame show and first intermission.
If you didn't see, I had a couple stories today:
Devan Dubnyk vs. Connor Hellebuyck tonight.
Marco Scandella is expected to be activated off long-term injured reserve today and play tonight for the first time since Oct. 27. When he's activated, the Wild technically won't need to make a roster move to get cap compliant because of Joel Eriksson Ek's cap space off the books, although I'd suspect Mike Reilly will be reassigned later today or tomorrow.
Reilly won't play tonight and was supposed to be scratched in Dallas, but Nate Prosser woke up with the same bug that guys like Ryan Suter have had lately.
Speaking of illnesses, Zach Parise is starting to look and feel better after being wiped out by strep throat.
He played against Dallas, but he looked to be fighting it.
Tough go for Parise lately after missing six games and three weeks with what actually was a knee issue, then returning after one practice, playing two games and then getting sick.
"Staying in the lineup is important," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Being healthy. His practice yesterday was 100 percent better than his game. He had just no energy, no legs in that game in Dallas, I expect him to be the Zach Parise that I know of today."
Parise has scored twice this season, with both those goals coming in a 10-shot effort in a loss at the Islanders.
The Wild and Jets are both in funks. The Jets are 0-3 on their five-game trip, having been outscored 12-4. The Wild’s 1-2-1 in its past four with five goals scored and is 3-5-1 in its past nine with two goals or fewer in eight of those games.
The Wild’s 1-3 in its past four at home. The Wild did beat Winnipeg, 4-3, in its home opener. The Jets are 4-2-1 in their past nine games against the Wild and 10-5-2 against Minnesota since moving from Atlanta to Winnipeg.
Jets rookie Patrik Laine, drafted second overall in June after Winnipeg won the NHL lottery, leads the NHL with 12 goals. Center Mark Scheifele is tied for second with 23 points and tied for fourth with 11 goals.
Wild LW Jason Zucker has no points in the past nine games, Mikko Koivu has no goals in his past 10, Eric Staal has no points in his past four.
By the way, Blake Wheeler has a seven-game point streak (five goals, eight assists) against the Wild and has 16 points (eight goals) in 18 games with the Jets against the Wild. In 31 games, fellow Minnesotan Dustin Byfuglien has posted seven goals and 19 assists and is plus-17 against the Wild, including five multipoint games in Minnesota.
Drew Stafford is expected to be activated off IR.
Some other Boudreau hits from this morning:
On Scandella's return: "Some people show us lots of rust, some people they’re right back into it. He’s practiced hard for a week, it’s not like he just became available health-wise. He’s been practicing hard for a few good practices now so he should be ready. What I’m expecting from him, I just talked to him just now and just to make sure his game is simple. Usually you’re so ramped up about playing if you haven’t played in awhile you try to do too much. If he does his job than that’s more than adequate."
On the Winnipeg rivalry after seeing Anaheim-LA and Washington-Pittsburgh close up: "Hopefully both teams got a hate on for each other. When you have a hate on for each other that brings out a lot of excitement. I know in the other places I’ve been it was quite a rivalry. I know everybody in our rooms hate the opponents on the other team and I’m sure the way this central division is and I think the way the closeness of it’s going to be for most of the year that I think it will bring out a lot of animosity or just determination against your foe."
On Zack Mitchell: "He’s done his job. For a non-natural centerman he’s come in and he’s worked hard and he’s done very well and we just hope he continues to do that."
On Tyler Graocac at left wing: "I thought it was good, it was surprisingly good. The last four or five games he’s done really well and hopefully he continues to grow in that."