The Minnesota Wild (29-21-7, 65 points) are set to host the Atlantic Division’s second seed Tampa Bay Lightning (32-18-5, 69 points) tomorrow night in their second to last game before the Olympic break begins Sunday. When they do, there’s a fairly good possibility No. 3 defenseman Jared Spurgeon will be back in the lineup according to Star Tribune Minnesota Wild beat writer Michael Russo.
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) February 3, 2014
Spurgeon hasn’t played in over a month after sustaining a foot injury. However, he’s still the team’s fourth leading scorer amongst defensemen with a goal and 11 assists for 12 points and a plus-6 rating in 43 games. Spurgeon is also tied with team captain Mikko Koivu for third on the team in average ice-time per game with 21:34. He’s small, yet effective–capable of munching a lot of minutes against the best players in the league while also contributing offensively.
If Minnesota is going to keep Tampa’s always dangerous Martin St. Louis at bay, Spurgeon’s return couldn’t come at a better time. In other news, Justin Fontaine is sick and didn’t participate in practice, and Darcy Kuemper continues to be the guy in net (what else is new?). We’ll have more as the situation develops.