CALGARY – Zenon Konopka heard about Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley challenging his team to be tougher to play against.
Set to play in his first game since Feb. 14, Konopka sees that as a challenge of his own.
“It’s a situation where he needs to spark his team,” Konopka said. “It’s one of those games I’m excited to play and I’m excited for tonight. I wish it was a 7 o’clock start instead of an 8 o’clock start.”
No stranger to the physical side of the game with 52 penalty minutes in 14 games, the 32-year-old is excited at the prospect of some rough play tonight.
“This is old school hockey and this is the hockey I love,” he said. “It should be a lot of fun tonight. I think it’s going to be a great game for the League and the fans as well, to see a lot of physical play.”
Rookie Mikael Granlund is expected to come out of the lineup to make way for Konopka.
Here are the projected lines the Wild are expected to roll out against the Flames on Saturday night.
Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Dany Heatley
Jason Zucker – Matt Cullen – Devin Setoguchi
Pierre-Marc Bouchard – Kyle Brodziak – Charlie Coyle
Mike Rupp – Zenon Konopka – Torrey Mitchell
Ryan Suter – Jonas Brodin
Clayton Stoner – Tom Gilbert
Nate Prosser – Jared Spurgeon
Scratched: Mikael Granlund, Justin Falk
Injured: Cal Clutterbuck, Josh Harding