GAME DAY #1: Kings @ Wild Preview

Real hockey is back!

Los Angeles Kings v Minnesota Wild (Xcel Energy Center)

Time: 5.00 PM

TV: TSN2, NBC Sports Network

Enemy reading: Hockey Wilderness

Wild (projected) lineup:




Injured: Rupp; Scratched: Dumba, Prosser

Kings (projected) lineup:




Injured: nobody??; Scratched: Carcillo, Martinez, Ellerby

Game notes:

  • Dwight King starts on the first line because Darryl Sutter is in love with Dwight King and Dustin Brown's hamstring injury kept him out of all the preseason games. Everything about this is upsetting to me, except the fact that it is expected to be a relatively temporary situation.
  • GUYS. HOCKEY!!!!!!!
  • Tonight, we only see one player making his debut in the crown & shield: offseason acquisition Matt Frattin. Shipped out of Toronto in return for Jonathan Bernier, the worst goalie in the history of sports, Frattin performed well in training camp and the preseason, earning Darryl Sutter's faith that he could wing the dynamic second-line duo. If the Frattin-Richards-Carter line sticks into the regular season, we need a nickname for them. A good one. You there, in the back, still making the Dry Island jokes - get out.
  • Hockey, though! It's back!
  • And so is Willie Mitchell! Over a year since he skated off the ice to celebrate a Stanley Cup victory, he takes to the ice for an NHL game where the points actually matter. After this long of an absence has already elapsed, I don't think the coaches would stick him back in the game if they didn't think he was truly ready, but I'm very curious/apprehensive to see how he holds up through 82 games.
  • #FreeMartinez
  • After all the hue and cry, Dan Carcillo starts the season the way god intended in the pressbox. This isn't really news, but c'mon, it's funny. He'll almost certainly see action if/once the injuries strike, but keeping him as the odd man out is the right call for now.
  • Hockey
  • On the other end of the ice, the Wild have some big storylines coming into this game as well: can Jonas Brodin repeat his Calder-calibre season? How much does newly-rich Jason Pominville still hate Dustin Brown? Will Nino Niederreiter manage to better his 0.018 ppg pace from his last NHL season? How come nobody's talking about how Zach Parise is almost 30 and making a trillion dollars and hey, look, I bet Dany Heatley could tell him a thing or two about how that goes, huh?
  • Also, in case you forgot, the Wild decided to employ Matt "elbows are for sharing" Cooke and Zenon "defenseless heads are for punching" Konopka. BOOOOOOOOOOOO.
  • Prediction: Kings win 500-0 and they never lose again and everything is beautiful.