The Minnesota Wild are set to play their final game before the Olympic break tonight against the division rival Nashville Predators.
Minnesota currently sits at 67 points with a 30-21-7 record, and firmly controls the top wildcard spot in the West. Nashville is in the Central’s cellar, but has posted an impressive 6-2-2 record in their past 10 games. With 59 points in the bag, a win tonight in, essentially, a four point game against Minnesota, would bump them to 61 points–two shy of the reeling Vancouver Canucks. It’s a very realistic statement to say Minnesota plays in a wild, wild West.
On to the morning links.
Latest From Gone Puck Wild:
Marco Scandella Expected to Return After Olympic Break - The Minnesota Wild defenseman won’t return until at least February 27th after sustaining a sprained MCL. The good news? He may only miss one game. I’ll let you figure that one out.
Prospect Watch: Wild’s Avery Peterson up for “Mr. Hockey” Award - Minnesota’s scouting staff may have hit another one out of the park with this guy.
Minnesota Wild News Around the Web:
Ryan Suter: Golden heirloom inspires Minnesota Wild defenseman - Chuck Norris–er–Ryan Suter gets a shave. A silver medal winner in 2010, Suter is hungry for something better.
Realignment is Likely to Provide Minnesota Wild With an Unfavorable Playoff Matchup - Well, gee, it’s not like last season’s quarterfinal against the Blackhawks was a favorable matchup either. However, this year looks to be in Minnesota’s favor should they have a playoff rematch.
Latest Central Division News via Fansided:
Acquiring Jaromir Jagr would turn Colorado into major contenders - …and would give citizens of the State of Hockey nightmares.
Predators Foes: Standings and Games Update - With an extended break between contests, the Nashville Predators have been forced to sit by and watch the teams surrounding them do battle.
General NHL News:
NHL rumors: Matt Moulson drawing interest from more than 12 teams - There’s no question Moulson can score. However, he can also walk away in free agency for nothing. That’s not going to happen if the Buffalo Sabres have anything to say about it.
NHL at Olympics: Still stupid after all these years - The NHL has shut down business at one of the best times for exposure before, but somehow going to the Olympics in Sochi this year seems worse.
Steven Stamkos won’t join Team Canada in Sochi, as race to rehab falls just short - Losing Stamkos is a huge blow for the Canadian Olympic team.
And that’s it. Have a great morning, folks. Scott will have tonight’s game preview up shortly.