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Preview: It’s gonna be a Wild one, folks!

Minnesota comes to town and, well...they’re a hockey team!

Minnesota North Stars Vs. Boston Bruins At Boston Garden Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7 PM

Where: TD Garden - Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Hockey Wilderness

Know your enemy

  • 9-11-2, 20 points, last in the Central Division, 2nd last in the Western Conference
  • Zach Parise leads Minnesota with 8 goals.
  • Eric Staal and Ryan Suter are tied for the team lead with 10 assists each.
  • Staal leads the Wild with 16 points.
  • Devan Dubnyk has carried the lion’s share in net thus far, with a 4-8-2 mark in 14 games. However, he’s out of the next few games due to a family emergency. Hopefully everything is OK.

Game notes

  • The Wild aren’t very good, but they’ve been better lately. Our friends at Hockey Wilderness point to a recent stretch of 5-2-1 as a sign that things are trending in the right direction.
  • Minnesota doesn’t really have a superstar, but they do have some decent young talent in guys like Jordan Greenway and Joel Eriksson Ek. Just what we need, another Boston University kid on the ice tonight!
  • The Wild may lead the league in “huh, he’s still there” players. Looking at their roster and seeing names like Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu, and Zach Parise bring me back a few years. It’s not that they’re not decent players, but that they’ve been fixtures in Minnesota for so long without much in the way of success that it’s easy to forget.
  • Ol’ buddy Ryan Donato is back in town! Remember when he got traded last year and scored a few goals in his first few games and everyone panicked? Yeah, me too. In fact, there was a guy on Facebook who said he’d bet that the number of goals Donato had at the time (I think it was 3) would be more than Charlie Coyle would score for the rest of the season. Turns out he was wrong.
  • It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for Donato. He put up decent numbers last year (4G, 12A, 16PTS in 22 games), but this year he only has a goal and 2 assists in 20 games. Coyle, meanwhile, has fit in well with the Bruins.
  • It looks like the Bruins will be getting Torey Krug back tonight, and should have Patrice Bergeron in the lineup as well. A nice boost!
  • I don’t know for sure, but I’d assume Urho Vaakanainen will be coming out if Krug is ready. It’d force someone to play on their off-hand, but I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing Connor Clifton sit for a game or two to keep Vaakanainen in the lineup. Doubtful that it happens, however.
  • Not clear yet on a starting goalie for the Bruins. With Tuukka Rask playing so well Thursday night, it might make sense to ride the hot hand. However, he also faced a ton of shots in that game, so it might also make sense to give him the night off. Thanks for reading.
  • The North Stars’ jerseys were pretty cool. That’s all.

See ya tonight!