Mike Yeo just wrapped up his media availability prior to tonight’s game against the Bruins.
The Wild has recalled Stu Bickel and Justin Falk, the latter of whom is expected to play. Jonas Brodin is “sore in a couple different areas,” Yeo said, likening last night’s hit from Chris Kreider to a car crash. Yeo said it’s a measure of precaution, and added what a tough player Brodin is.
Erik Haula will not play tonight. He has not been diagnosed with a concussion, but it’s the team’s call to hold him out for precautionary measures. Yeo said the team has to “protect the player,” and didn’t want to put him in a position to get hurt again, and miss more time.
Kyle Brodziak will take Haula's spot in the lineup. Yeo said he was indeed scrambling the lines, but didn’t want to tip his hand before warm-ups. He did say he would not be breaking up the Mikael Granlund, Jason Pominville and Zach Parise line.
“We have to try to do different things,” Yeo said. “We’re never going to be satisfied with just being good. We want to get better.”
The power play could see some changes too.
“We are starting to get in our own way,” Yeo said. “I didn’t like our power play last night. Some of the things that make us a good group on the power play, we are not doing right now.”
Niklas Backstrom will be in net tonight.
To make room for Bickel and Falk, the Wild made a pair of moves — Keith Ballard and Christian Folin were placed on injured reserve, retroactive to Oct. 21, with illness. However, they can come off IR at any time once healthy.
Bickel, 28, has registered 5 penalty minutes (PIM) and three shots in four games with Iowa this season. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound native of Chanhassen, Minn., totaled an assist, 19 PIM, seven hits and five blocked shots in five preseason games with Minnesota, spending time as both a defenseman and forward. He’s totaled nine assists and 157 PIM in 67 career NHL games, adding 16 PIM in 18 playoff contests. He signed as a free agent with Minnesota on July 1 and, if he appears in a game with the Wild, will become the 19th Minnesotan to play a game with the team in franchise history.
Falk, 26, has totaled 8 PIM and five shots in six games with Iowa this season. He totaled 9 PIM, four blocked shots and one hit in two preseason games with Minnesota. The 6-foot-5, 222-pound native of Snowflake, Man., has totaled 17 points (1-16=17) and 120 PIM in 129 career NHL games, adding 2 PIM in four playoff games. He signed as a free agent with Minnesota on Aug. 1.