Richards Changes Up Lines


As a result of injuries Minnesota Wild Coach Todd Richards has taken the unusual step of  changing up his lines following a win. Per his press conference this morning the lines we will see against the Flames tonight will be:

Brunette-Koivu-Clutterbuck

Cullen-Brodziak-Havlat

Nystrom-Madden-Wellman

Kassian-Almond-Staubitz

Some thoughts:

Cal Clutterbuck on the top line will be interesting. After scoring 3 goals in an exhibition game Cal earned a shot at the 2nd line but eventually was shuffled back down to the 3rd line. He has the scoring potential and it would be nice to see someone take the top line RW spot from the inconsistent Antti Miettinen. I believe we will also see some juggling of the lines during the game and Havlat may see some ice time with Andrew Brunette and Mikko Koivu as well.

Matt Cullen slides over to wing to make room for Kyle Brodziak on the 2nd line. While it would seem more logical to play Wellman on the 2nd line, Richards has not shown much confidence in him as of late. Brodziak played well with Marty Havlat last year and does have an offensive spark as seen in the Edmonton game. Cullen has been one of the hardest working forwards for the Wild this season and could be the big winner here if the move to wing opens up some scoring chances for him. I’d look for him to score at least 1 goal tonight.

It will be interesting to see what Cody Almond and Matt Kassian bring to the line up. Both players have certainly earned the chance to play. If nothing else this line will bring energy and toughness.

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Tags: Andrew Brunette Antti Miettinen Brad Staubitz Cal Clutterbuck Calgary Flames Casey Wellman Cody Almond Edmonton Oilers Eric Nystrom John Madden Kyle Brodziak Martin Havlat Matt Cullen Matt Kassian Mikko Koivu Minnesota Wild Todd Richards