Tonight, the Wild closes out The Year 2015 in St. Loueeeee, where things usually go poorly for the Wild (well, except in the playoffs ).
In the regular season, the Wild is 1-4-3 here since March 29, 2011 and has one regulation win here in the past 15 visits since Oct. 20, 2007. The Wild is 4 for 53 (7.5 percent) on the power play in those past 15 visits to St. Louis. In those games, the Wild has been outscored to 47-27 and outshot 461-353.
Ohhhhhh, and the Wild, which all Wild fans know clearly hates the holidays (anything around Thanksgiving, the game after Christmas and New Year's Eve) has lost five straight New Year's Eve contests and six of its past seven, last winning Dec. 31, 2009, against San Jose in overtime.
Its last regulation New Year's Eve win was home against Anaheim on Dec. 31, 2007. The Wild is 0-2 all-time on the road on New Year's Eve.
I think Twitter's "Negative Dave" somehow got the log-in to this blog.
No, no, I'm doing my best to lower your expectations to such a degree, you'll be super cheery if the Wild actually wins.
Afternoon from St. Louis, where the Wild just got done with its morning skate. Same lineup, same lines as reported on yesterday's blog.
Devan Dubnyk vs. Jake Allen as the Blues search for their seventh win in the past nine games.
Zach Parise skated this morning.
"I don't expect this to be a huge, lingering, long-term thing, but it's just a little bit of a maintenance thing for us," coach Mike Yeo said.
Yeo said they'll see how Parise feels after his skate today and that'll determine if he practices tomorrow in Tampa. Like I wrote on yesterday's blog, the Wild has back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday (likely no morning skate Sunday) and Monday is a scheduled off-day/travel day. So Parise practicing Friday would go a long way to determining if there's a chance he plays this weekend at Tampa Bay and/or Florida.
"We just want to make sure that he gets the rest that's required here and gets himself feeling back closer to 100 percent," Yeo said. "He always wants to play, so that's not an easy thing to do. He wants to be out here, especially in a game like this tonight. He's a competitor and it's hard for those guys not to be playing."
Left-shot defenseman Marco Scandella will take Parise's spot in the right circle on the No. 1 power play. Yeo said they have a couple ideas they may go to if it doesn't work.
"Hopefully we get a few power plays," Yeo said, snickering.
Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, who scored six goals against the Wild in last year’s playoffs, has eight goals and 14 points in the past 13 games. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has 22 points in the past 23 games. Left wing Robbie Fabbris ranks seventh among NHL rookies with nine goals, four in the past five games. He's been playing on a line with Jori Lehtera and Dmitrij Jaskin. They had five points last game.
"It's been on fire and a real important line for them. They use them as a matchup line. They're very strong defensively, but the fact they've been contributing offensively makes them that much more dangerous," Yeo said of the Blues' third line.
By the way, Joel Eriksson Ek isn't playing for Sweden today. He's either banged up or sick, and today's a meaningless game for the Swedes, who have clinched first going into the quarterfinals.