Former New York Ranger Erik Christensen is wasting no time changing his wardrobe. He will make his debut in a Wild sweater tomorrow night on the road against Dallas, centering the third line. His line mates will be Darroll Powe and Carson McMillan. Physical center Warren Peters will move to the fourth line, giving them even more banging power.
This is definitely a depth move for the Wild, and doesn’t bode well for a timely return of Pierre Marc Bouchard. Bouchard has been a mainstay of the Wild’s power play, but Wild GM Chuck Fletcher singled out Christensen’s stellar shootout record (solidly above 50%) as a key reason for his addition to the lineup. My guess? PMB isn’t going to be back anytime soon. I’d be happy if we see him before playoffs.
Frankly, I think the move has even more to do with Christensen’s familiarity with the Wild’s system of play. He played under Yeo as a member of the Penguins’ organization, and it’s no secret that the Wild have adopted a modified version of the Pens’ style.
We’ll find out tomorrow night how apt this move really was…I’ve got cautious optimism, because our best new players have been those who already know Yeo.