The Wild, 7-1 at home, plays host to the Nashville Predators, 4-3-1 on the road, tonight in the first of a four-game homestand after a 1-2-1 road trip.
Coach Mike Yeo hopes Xcel Energy Center is the Wild’s tonic, but he said the players can’t just rely on being home to cure all of their ills. He said the team watched video today because there are a lot of things that must get better.
Same Wild forward lineup tonight and defenseman Jonas Brodin will return after a bout with the stomach bug that has affected several players. Yeo said everybody is fine and he hopes it has run its course, but there are definitely some guys still a bit under the weather.
“I haven’t taken a sip out of a water bottle in three days,” said defenseman Nate Prosser, laughing but not kidding, I don’t think.
Jared Spurgeon played less than 17 minutes the other night in Boston and only a bit over four minutes in the third period, and one of the Wild goaltenders is battling through it right now (not Devan Dubnyk, tonight’s starter).
The Preds didn’t skate this morning after playing last night in Columbus, so no word with Pekka Rinne will start or if Carter Hutton will play his third game.
Zach Parise skated with the team for the first time this morning since getting hurt against Nashville on Nov. 5. He will see the docs later to see if he can get medically cleared for full contact in practice Monday. We didn’t chat with Parise today, but he did look rusty with his skating and stick-handling.
Yeo called it a good first step, but he did not want to guess if Parise could play as early as Wednesday against Vancouver. He said let’s first see what the docs say. Yeo also said Marco Scandella continues to be out with a lower-body injury and he’d be surprised if Scandella could come off injured reserve and play Wednesday, but he didn’t want to rule it out.
Jason Zucker is fine. He said his leg went completely numb the other night after the Matt Beleskey slash, which Zucker said wasn’t that vicious. He said Beleskey just got him in the perfect spot with his leg extended.
Mikko Koivu will skate in his 700th game tonight, 43 from tying his bosom buddy Nick Schultz’s team record. I have a funny story about the two of them I’ll toss in tomorrow’s game notebook.
Today at 4 p.m. at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub, Jim Souhan and I will be taping our podcast (malepatternpodcasts.com). Come on by and take part!!!
Lastly, Minnesota Wild fans can help those in need at the team's upcoming annual food drive in partnership with Twin Cities Toyota dealers.
At the Wild game on Saturday, Nov. 21, Second Harvest Heartland volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items and monetary donations at Gates 1-4 from 5:30 p.m. until the start of the first period. The Wild takes on the Nashville Predators that night at 7 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center.
For every $5 donated in the Minnesota Wild Toyota Food Drive, Second Harvest can provide 19 meals to the most vulnerable members of our community. Fans can also donate online at Second Harvest Heartland's website. Thanks to a group of generous private donors, gifts will be matched dollar for dollar up to a total match of $25,000 through Nov. 26.
Talk after the game.