It's not a rule. It's a guideline, Mike Yeo has joked during his tenure. But the fourth-year Wild coach won't break his rule or guideline as to which goalie starts after the team shuts out an opponent.
Darcy Kuemper, concussed in Game 7 at the Pepsi Center last year when his head collided with Ryan Suter's leg, will be in the Wild cage again Saturday night when the Wild visits the Avs in its first road game of the season.
Kuemper had a relatively easy 16-save shutout in the Wild's season-opening win over the Avs on Thursday.
The Wild expects a very different Avalanche team Saturday. Just like the Wild got a jolt from its home crowd in its home opener, the Avs should get the same as they celebrate last year's Central Division title.
“If the roles were reversed and we got pounded 5-0, I guarantee we’d come out playing the same team with a little more bite,” Zach Parise said Friday. “We have to expect that from them.”
Just like the Avs Thursday, the Wild will be in the visiting room hearing all the hoopla outside.
Asked what it's like to be in that room and hear all that from past experience, Yeo said, "We just have to brace ourselves for a good challenge. It’s the anticipation of knowing that the other team is going to come out hard. They're going to come out with good energy. Sometimes that anticipation can lead to some butterflies, so we have to made sure we’re ready to start from the drop of the puck, that’s for sure."
That'll be Yeo's message during that time.
Not much else going on. Yeo also said he will likely come back with the same lineup. I wondered if he might be considering giving one of the rookie defensemen the night off for Nate Prosser, but Yeo sounded like he didn't want to change the lineup, saying it would be hard to pick anybody after Thursday's performance. This would be Christian Folin's first-ever road game.
Folin and Matt Dumba did have a couple hairy rookie moments Thursday, but Yeo said veterans made mistakes, too, but, "We’re very quick to judge and we’re waiting for them to make a mistake almost." He said everybody needs to understand there will be hiccups with the young kids and it's up to the coaches to help eliminate them, but he wants them learning in tough road environments and he doesn't want Folin or Dumba feeling that one mistake will get them taken from the lineup.
So, it sounds like Prosser and Keith Ballard won't play. Stu Bickel is also expected to be scratched, as well as Justin Fontaine, who is still on injured reserve.
At some point the Wild will need to get Fontaine in and make a roster move. It'll be interested to see whom Yeo chooses to come out because he loved what Ryan Carter brought to Thursday's game and he liked what the fourth line provided with Carter, Jason Zucker and Kyle Brodziak. Brodziak played a real good game, especially on the PK.
Speaking of the PK, much more assertive than we have grown accustomed to seeing Thursday. Colorado was shotless on four power plays.
Matt Cooke should expect to hear a chorus of boos. In case the fans forgot how Cooke knocked Tyson Barrie out of the playoffs, the Denver Post's always-inciting columnist reminded them in today's piece.
That's it for now. Please check out my two stories in Saturday's paper. Talk to you after Saturday's skates.