Whatinthehell are we walking into tomorrow doing the 9-to-Nooner at the X and from the penalty box? Team has lost two consecutive, basically never wins on the road in regulation and is facing the talented Vancouver Canucks. Should be an intense and interesting morning skate from which we broadcast tomorrow.
Some of my best hockey minds will be on hand -- TENNA B co-hosts the first hour and PAUL CHARCHIAN makes his penalty-box debut for the final two. FSN'S KEVIN GORG and ANTHONY LAPANTA also join for Wild-Canucks and LUCIA v. SCSU, RUSSO RADIO is in for a couple of segs at 10:15 a.m. and WES WALZ closes us out at 11:40 a.m.
When we chat Wild we need to figure out why HEATLEY today reportedly was demoted to the second line, rookie CHARLIE COYLE jumped by him to the top line where he will skate with studs MIKKO KOIVU and ZACH PARISE. Too, STEOGUCHI and GRANLUND recently were moved around, and it's clear HC MIKE YEO is mixing potions to find cohesiveness.
The cool thing is if we win in regulation we are just a point out of first place and this would come despite no road wins. The Wild is 4-and-1 at home and the last time it was here put a shootout loss on the highly touted Blackhawks.
The zest and zeal clearly is there with the squad, and Parise is earning every penny he is being paid. It seems to me like secondary guys like Setoguchi and KYLE BRODZIAK need to perform markedly better, and despite the fast start Heatley has slowed down, too. Walz thinks putting Dany with PMB and CULLEN (quality passers) will jumpstart him. We'll chat about that at 11:40 a.m. when Wes joins the mix.
With all these changes and the trade for RUPP is seems from afar there's some panic to the bit but I don't see it that way. This Wild squad is very talented but with all the new faces is in need of melding and cohesion. I trust Mike Yeo and his decision-making skills and absolutely expect a win tomorrow night.
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