The second week of March always has the Minnesota Wild on the road so the high school and college teams can take over Xcel Energy Center. Typically, the Wild coverage and attention takes a back seat to the young’ns because…well, we love tournaments.
But this year, things might be a little different. The Wild has basically been playing tournament games for about a month. Tonight, the boys kick off a four-game road trip in Nashville in what might be the biggest four-game road swing in team history. Whether the Wild goes 4-0-0 or 0-4-0, the season will still be a long way from over.
But still, these games are all coming against teams that are in or very close to being in the playoff picture.
Minnesota will be without Cal Clutterbuck and Mikko Koivu once again. Both took part in today’s morning skate, but neither are ready to return. Todd Richards said that there hasn’t been a decision made yet as to which forwards will play, but it’s possible that Casey Wellman takes the place of Brad Staubitz tonight.
Marco Scandella, who was recalled from Houston yesterday, will be in the lineup replacing Clayton Stoner. Stoner continues to be hampered by a lower body injury.
Niklas Backstrom, who is 7-3-0 in his career against the Predators, will get the start. Backstrom has never won in Dallas, so you can bet the house that Jose Theodore will start against the Stars tomorrow night.
The Class AA tournament is under way. Edina and Blaine are currently locked in a battle to see who will lose to the mighty Duluth East Greyhounds tomorrow night.