Since I’m sitting in my comfy cubicle today, repeatedly rubbing my hands together with a sinister look on my face, you can bet the Vancouver Canucks are in town to face the Minnesota Wild tonight. There’s just something about these games against the Canucks where something out of the ordinary is bound to happen. It doesn’t hurt that the Wild tends to put a whuppin’ on the Nucks when they come into Xcel Energy Center.
The fact that the Canucks are playing in the second of back-to-backs and are missing about five regular defensemen doesn’t hurt, either. But these games aren’t played on paper, nor on Internet blogs, so we’ll just have to wait a few more hours to see what kind of shenanigans take place tonight.
The lineup will remain the same. Todd Richards noted that Marek Zidlicky looked good today, but said he won’t get back in the lineup tonight. Nik Backstrom will get the start.
If the Wild wins tonight, it will mark the first five-game home win streak since March 15 to April 3 of 2008. More importantly, the Wild will jump back into the eighth spot. Yes, the Wild is currently in ninth place in the West, but has four games in hand on eighth place Calgary, two on seventh place San Jose, two on sixth place Nashville, two on fifth place Anaheim and one on fourth place Dallas. All of those teams are within three points or less of Minnesota.
Those games in hand will start to disappear after tonight. Tonight marks the start of 10 games in 17 days. There won’t be a two-day break until February 26 and 27.