Marco Scandella Will Return Saturday


Marco Scandella will return to the lineup following a nine-game absence, over which the Wild had injuries to Jared Spurgeon and Nate Prosser as well.

The Minnesota Wild’s defensive corps is going to get a little more crowded starting with Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. Marco Scandella is set to return after missing nine games due to an oblique injury suffered during a game against the Colorado Avalanche on February 28.

When Scandella talked to the media following Friday’s practice, KFAN’s Kevin Falness asked if Scandella was ready to go on Saturday, to play 20-25 minutes without a problem. Scandella responded, “Without a problem.”

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That’s great news for the Wild who have struggled at home recently, going 2-4-0 over their last six home games in the “Home of the Home Ice Advantage.” (They’ve been unstoppable on the road, currently riding a franchise-record eight-game winning streak on the road.) The return of Scandella could go a long way toward making the team fix those little issues which have lead to home losses, all four of which have been by a single goal.

The team is still without Nate Prosser (lower body), who we’ve certainly criticized here, but has played better lately and should probably have the spot on the left side of the third pairing when all defensemen are healthy.

But Prosser isn’t healthy and that means Mike Yeo is taking Christian Folin out of the lineup again for Saturday’s game. He’d gotten some playing time again recently with both Scandella and Prosser out, but the team doesn’t want him or Matt Dumba playing their off-hand in the third pairing (both are right-shots), so that means Folin draws out of the roster and Jordan Leopold, a left-shot defenseman, will take the left side of the third pairing with Dumba.

There are a few ways the team could have gotten Folin into the lineup, like continuing to split Jonas Brodin and Ryan Suter as they’d been doing when both Scandella and Prosser were out, but Mike Yeo made a point on Friday of saying he’d like Suter and Brodin back together in the team’s top pairing.

That means pairings on Friday are likely to look like this:

Ryan Suter – Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella – Jared Spurgeon
Jordan Leopold – Matt Dumba

Watch Marco Scandella talk after Friday’s practice below.

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