Minnesota Wild: 5 things to watch against the Avalanche

The Minnesota Wild will play their third preseason game tonight against the Colorado Avalanche at Excel Energy Center. The Wild are currently 0-2 and will look to pick up their first win against their division rival. Here are five things to watch for in tonight’s game against the Avalanche.

  1. Mikko Koivu will make his preseason debut tonight. The Captain is coming off a torn ACL and has by all reports looked strong throughout training camp. It will be interesting to see how the veteran center looks in his first live action since tearing his ACL in February. Seeing the Captain return to the ice is reason enough to tune in tonight.

“I haven’t played a game in eight or so months,” Koivu said. “So that’s why I want to get out there and play and see how it feels.”

2. Ryan Suter will be making his preseason debut. This past season Suter posted 47 points, which ranked 14th among defenseman. It marked the fourth straight season that the defenseman recorded 40 or more points.

3. Devan Dubnyk is another veteran that will be making his preseason debut. The 2018-2019 season was by far the poorest of Dubnyk’s Wild career. His save percentage slipped to .913, the lowest mark during his Wild tenure. His goals against average was 2.54, the highest mark of his Wild career. Dubnyk needs to put last season behind him and that process starts tonight with a strong showing.

4. Nico Sturm is pushing hard for a roster spot. He had a strong showing at Traverse City in the prospect tournament. He followed up that strong showing by scoring the Wild’s only goal during Thursday’s 4-1 loss against the Winnipeg Jets.

5. Ryan Hartman made a strong first impression during the Wild’s game against the Dallas Stars. The winger came up an assist shy of a Gordie Howe hat trick. What will he do for an encore tonight against the Avalanche?