Wild and the Vancouver Canuckleheads tonight at Xcel Energy Center.
Reminder: 6 p.m. start
Reminder: 3 p.m. at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub, I’ll be taping a podcast with Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan. Please stop on by, ask questions, take part.
Reminder: Dec. 3 is the Star Tribune Fans Night Out with myself and Mark Parrish before the Wild’s game vs. the Leafs. For the package price and details, go to wild.com/fansnightout.
If you didn't read my profile on Minnesotan Ryan Carter playing at home, here is that story.
Devan Dubnyk, coming off his third shutout of the season, vs. Ryan Miller (6-7-5 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .911 save percentage).
Twelfth straight start for Dubnyk, which is nothing compared to 38 in a row last year. He did remind us his second child, another boy, is due Dec. 4.
“He can really come any day,” Dubnyk said. “If I’m not here one day, that’s most likely why. Hopefully he decides to come on a non-gameday, but my wife just wants to make sure he comes while I’m here.”
On starting 12 in a row, which hasn’t been much of workload when one considers there’s only been one back-to-back in that stretch, Dubnyk said, “It’s fine by me. Anytime I end up actually not playing, I wish I was playing anyway. I’ll play as much as I can and as much as Mike [Yeo] wants to put me in. I’ll just try to keep giving him a reason. Hopefully the baby comes on a non gameday so we don’t have to stop it.”
I assume he means the streak, not the baby.
Yeo said the other day he has no plan yet as to whether Darcy Kuemper will play one of the back-to-backs this weekend. They're two big games against division rivals Winnipeg and Dallas. They're not normal back-to-backs because both are at home, so no travel, and one’s an afternoon game and one’s a night game, meaning extra rest. So it's no guarantee Kuemper plays this weekend.
Jordan Schroeder is sick. Some players told me it’s not just a stomach bug rummaging around. Some players have had strep throat.
Yeo doesn’t know what this issue is. “I thought we were in the clear,” Yeo said. “What I like is through this stretch we haven’t made any excuses. Regardless of who’s in the lineup, we think we have a capable group here.”
Christoph Bertschy will play in Schroeder’s place. Kurtis Gabriel will also play his second NHL game.
He played 2:41 in his NHL debut, fighting Chris Thorburn.
“Every time I come up, I feel that much more comfortable,” Gabriel said. “This time it feels like just like a regular hockey game to be honest. I prepare the same way and I’m comfortable with my surroundings. Every second I get out there is going to help me in the long run and prepare me for future opportunities.”
If you saw his Instagram the other day, Gabriel had a neat picture and story he posted about something special his mom, Kim, did for him after his debut. I talked to Gabriel about that today, and I'll either toss that in tomorrow's paper or later this week (maybe my Sunday column sidebar if not earlier).
The Iowa Wild has lost 10 consecutive games this month, by the way. Gabriel said they’ve had the lead in eight of those 10 games.
Zach Parise took part in today’s morning skate, by the way. He looked much better to me than he did Saturday. Parise said he didn’t know yet if he would take part in his first practice Thursday.
The Canucks have basically been a one-line team for awhile (Sedins) and are 2-6-2 in their past 10 and have won five of their past 17.
Still, Yeo wants no excuses tonight. He said it’s almost easier to be on the road this time of year. Because of Thanksgiving, players all have family and friends in town, so there are distractions. Yeo reminded his gents the other day that preparation for games doesn’t start when they arrive at the rink. It starts at home getting good rest and turning their brains on there.
That’s it for me. I’ll be on NHL Network’s bald spot cam at 4:40 p.m. CT. I’d love to know the Wild’s career record when I’m on the arena cam. It feels like it’s 0-50 or something. Maybe I’m bringing my bad vibes down to ice level.