The big talk coming out of Calgary today was of Flames’ Head Coach Bob Hartley, who called his team out for not being tough enough earlier this week. So, you can bet that the Flames are going to come up like a ball of fire (pun intended) against the Minnesota Wild tonight.
The Wild will be without one of its toughest customers in Cal Clutterbuck, who will be out after taking a hit from Edmonton’s Taylor Hall on Thursday. Clutterbuck didn’t participate in the morning skate, but looked to be moving around much better and without crutches.
In his absence the Wild will insert two physical players into the lineup. Zenon Konopka and Charlie Coyle will both be in tonight. Coyle uses his physical play a long the wall and on the forecheck. The rookie will skate on a line with Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Coyle told WildTV what he expects to bring to the lineup tonight.
Konopka, as Wild fans know by now, is more apt to drop the gloves and protect his teammates. He’ll skate on a line with Mike Rupp and Torrey Mitchell. Of course, the gregarious Konopka told the media he expects to get the Wild rolling with his hands, but not with fisticuffs. Check out the WildTV video of the center calling his shot.
Mikael Granlund will be the healthy scratch up front and defenseman Justin Falk also will be out.
Niklas Backstrom will be in goal for Minnesota and has been hot of late. He is 3-0-1 in his last four starts with a 1.42 goals against average and a .945 save percentage.
It’s a late start, 9 p.m. State of Hockey time, so drink some coffee because you’re not going to want to miss the Wild going for its third-straight win. The game will air on FOX Sports North and KFAN. If social media is more of your thing, follow the action with @mnwildLIVE.