Tag Archives: Brad Staubitz

Bouchard And Staubitz Both Return Tonight

Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brad Staubitz will both be in the lineup tonight against the Edmonton Oilers as they return from their respective suspensions.

It’s a brand new season with new players on both teams, and statistics mean nothing once the puck is dropped. Still, looking at some of these Wild numbers against Edmonton is enough to make you rub your eyes before taking a closer look.

The Wild has won seven in a row against the Oil, and the last 16 straight at Xcel Energy Center. Since the last Oiler win in St. Paul, the Wild has outscored them 58-21 in those games, with 14 of 16 games being decided by two or more goals.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard picked up nine points (2-7=9) in just four games against the Oilers last year, and he now has 10 goals and 28 assists against them in 38 career games against them.

Mikko Koivu put up eight points (2-6=8) against Edmonton last year, and he has three goals and 27 assists in 40 games against them.

Niklas Backstrom is 18-2-1 against the Oilers with a 1.74 goals against average, a .935 save percentage and four shutouts. He has won 14 starts in a row against Edmonton at Xcel Energy Center. Wowza!

Now then, some off ice news for you folks. If you’re a Tweeter and you’re going to be watching tonight’s game in person, at home or online, I want your help for tonight’s live in-game commentary on Wild.com. The best tweets about the game with the hashtag #wildtweetup will earn that Tweeter a pair of tickets to a suite for this Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. Not too shabby for you, and not too shabby for me, since I can let y’all do the work I’m supposed to be doing.

In the business, we call that a win-win.

You have to be 18 to qualify, and you can find out more here. Good luck!

Finally, help the Wild “Better Halves” in their PJ’s for Patients Drive tonight by bringing new, unworn youth pajamas to the game tonight for local pediatric cancer patients. By doing so, you’ll get a Buy One Get One Free Ticket Voucher for a future 2011-12 Wild game.

Again, a win-win.

Staubitz Suspension Begins Tonight

The ruling was passed down from NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan yesterday that Wild winger Brad Staubitz will be suspended for the rest of the preseason, as well as the first three games of the regular season.

At least publicly, the Wild hasn’t cried foul about the ruling, and Staubitz said yesterday, “I want what’s fair.” Thus far in his new role, Shanahan has been strict, but consistent in his dealings with dangerous hits. He also suspended James Wisniewski for eight regular season games for his blow to the head of Cal Clutterbuck on Friday night.

In past years, there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the suspensions handed out, and there seemed to be preferential treatment given to certain players over others. Shanahan has been proactive, not only with being strict, but with his video descriptions of each incident. If teams and fans get the straight dope on why a suspension is what it is, that’s all we can really ask.

It remains to be seen if Steven Stamkos or Alex Ovechkin were to drill a player with a dangerous head shot, but so far, it’s hard to argue with Shanahan’s methods.

As for the Wild and their preseason home game tonight against the Blues, you’ll see most of the regulars out on the ice tonight. Matt Cullen, who was hit headfirst into the boards on Saturday by Pittsburgh’s Eric Tangradi, will sit out as a precaution. Casey Wellman will take his spot. Staubitz will be replaced on the fourth line by Brett Bulmer, who is still vying for a spot on the roster.

On defense, Jared Spurgeon is dealing with a bruised rib, and Mike Lundin continues to suffer from back spasms. Justin Falk and Marco Scandella will take their spots in the lineup. Nick Schultz will make his preseason debut tonight.

Niklas Backstrom gets the start in goal. Josh Harding likely starts on Thursday in Columbus and Backstrom would get the preseason finale on Friday against Edmonton.

Meanwhile, all the players the Wild put on waivers on Sunday have cleared, meaning they’ll report to Houston Aeros camp. That includes Warren Peters, Jed Ortmeyer, Jon DiSalvatore, Jeff Taffe, Jeff Penner and Dennis Endras.

And finally, Wild prospect and Denver University sophomore Jason Zucker was picked as the preseason WCHA player of the year in the 94X media poll, released today. Zucker’s team, Denver, was picked to finish first in the League, which you may know is also the home of the defending national champs in Duluth.

Backstrom To Start; Staubitz Instigator Rescinded

Good early afternoon, State of Hockey legion. Hope you all had a little extra caffeine this morning to get you going after staying up late to watch the Wild win in Edmonton last night. I know I certainly needed some coffee to write today’s game preview after finishing last night’s recap. Be sure you’ve prepped with caffeine infused drinks tonight as it’s another late start out west when the Wild drop the puck in Calgary at 8:30 CT.  Oh, the tolls of back-to-backs.

As suspected the past few days, Niklas Backstrom has been confirmed as the Wild’s starting goalie tonight after serving as the backup for the past few games. Backs will get his first start since Dec. 31 after injuring his hip and missing four games. Backstrom has played well against Calgary recently, going 7-1-1 in his last nine starts (10 games) against the Flames, holding a 1.22 GAA, a.958 SV%, and two shutouts in those contests.

In some (somewhat) unexpected news from this morning’s skate, it was announced that the NHL has rescinded Brad Staubitz’s instigator penalty for fighting with less than five minutes left in last night’s game. Staubitz said after the game he hoped the NHL would reverse the call on the ice because he was standing up for the Wild’s All-Star.. It seems the NHL agreed, so Staubitz will not be suspended for tonight’s game and Todd Richards will not be fined $10,000. I’d have to imagine that’s a nice feeling since a fee like that might send me to the Emergency Room.

Of course, Staubitz could be out of the lineup tonight if Richards decided to make him the healthy scratch, but for now the same lineup is expected in Calgary, meaning Cody Almond will watch from the press box.

Enjoy the rest of your day and don’t forget to catch the Wild as the guys go for three straight at 8:30 on KSTC-TV (HD), WCCO 830 radio and the always hysterical Glen Andresen on wild.com’s live, in-game commentary.