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Morning Skate: Red Wings at Wild

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The Wild will look to rectify their season-opening loss against Detroit at the Pizzarena when the Wings visit the “Hot Dish” tonight.

Minnesota Wild v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
When: 7 PM Eastern
Radio: 97.1 FM // 1270 AM
Wild Blog: Hockey Wilderness

These guys again. Last time we saw the Minnesota Wild, the Red Wings broke them over the side of the LCA like a champagne bottle to christen the new arena. Mikko Koivu scored the first goal in the Pizzarena, but the Hand of God (dudes who watch goals in a Toronto office complex) reached out and ruled it a no goal, allowing Mantha to score the first official goal in the new barn.

Since then, the Wild have been having a roller coaster of a season, mostly due to injuries early in the first half. Since then, the Minnesota squad has steadily gained some chemistry and looked like they’d turned the corner, getting back to the unrelenting style they played last year. They hit a high water mark by beating the Blues 8-3 the night before the Wings lost in St. Louis, 2-1. But after that they lost to Arizona and got smoked out of Colorado, 7-1.

The Wings are smarting after losing 2-1 in St. Louis and 4-3 in Winnipeg. It has been a tough two games to watch, with the Wings getting outplayed in long stretches. Larkin got a good scare Friday night in Winnipeg, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel like teams are getting goonier with him as he continues getting better and better. Minnesota doesn’t have anyone overly intimidating, but all it takes is one young grinder trying too hard to prove his salt for something awful to happen.

Oh, and fun fact: Joel Eriksson Ek was taken 20th overall in the 2015 NHL draft, five selections after Larkin. There were a fair amount of predictions saying Detroit would choose the Swede with their pick, and I thought they were going to take him. Instead, Detroit went with Dylan and Joel fell to the Wild. I’m really glad I turned out to be wrong. That’s not a slight on Eriksson Ek, but he’s no D-Boss.

Red Wings Projected Lines


Nyquist - Zetterberg - Mantha
Bertuzzi - Larkin - Athanasiou
Abdelkader - Nielsen - Helm
Frk - Glendening - Witkowski


DeKeyser - Daley
Kronwall - Green
Ouellet - Jensen



Wild Projected Lines


Zucker - Staal - Granlund
Parise - Koivu - Coyle
Neiderreiter - Cullen - Ennis
Foligno - Eriksson Ek - Winnik


Suter - Dumba
Olofsson - Spurgeon
Seeler - Brodin



Gameday Prediction ContestGameday Prediction Contest


Game Day Prediction Contest

Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.

First off, if you don't have an SBN Username, make one! We'd love to have you, plus it's much easier to track your predictions season-long. Then make your guess on the winning team, final score, and who the Red Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. Only one submission per person, please. The Red Wings POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.

Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 3 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct, you'll receive 15 points.

Good luck!