The Minnesota Wild’s goaltending tandem tonight will have one combined NHL start. That one start was Anton Khudobin’s brilliant performance in a 2-1 win over Philadelphia on February 6, 2010. He’ll finally get the chance at start number two tonight against Colorado with 20-year-old Matt Hackett as his backup.
Jose Theodore was officially ruled out for tonight, and Head Coach Todd Richards could not say whether or not Theo would be available on Sunday against Vancouver. He did say that Niklas Backstrom skated on his own today and felt great. There is some optimism that he’ll be ready for the team’s road trip that starts on Tuesday in Edmonton.
Jared Spurgeon will get back in the lineup tonight after a recall from Houston this morning. Cam Barker will come out of the lineup. Barker was brilliant in the most recent Wild win in Pittsburgh, where he and Marco Scandella were a +4. But in the last two games, they were a combined -6.
Patrick O’Sullivan cleared waivers today and has been assigned to the Houston Aeros.
It should be a fun atmosphere tonight, as most weekend night games usually are. But this one gets some extra juice because of the words exchanged between these two clubs in the media after the last meeting. Plus, there’s something about a Khudobin start that gets me extra excited. The guy was out of his mind against Philadelphia last year, and it was especially impressive because not many people were feeling good about a kid making his NHL debut in a must-win game against Philadelphia. Next to the Chicago comeback, I think it was the most entertaining game of last season.
The 8,000,000th fan in Wild history is also expected to stroll through the gates tonight. Scoop up your tickets now while you still have a chance.