Tonight, the Wild returns to the Xcel Energy Center after a two-game roadtrip, losing in Anaheim and Phoenix. It was only two games, but the Wild only managed to score two goals on the trip. Anaheim is on fire right now and goalie Mike Smith played stellar for the Coyotes.
Changes have been made.
The Wild had a target on their chest and high expectations coming into this season after they dished out $196 million to two players. Parise has been brilliant, meanwhile Suter is still learning the system and has had three different defensive partners. Suter's a minus-7, patience people.
Wild fans will see a completely different lineup than the last time the Wild played at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Chicago Blackhawks on back-to-back nights; keep in mind the Blackhawks' only loss this season was their shootout loss to the Wild on NBC Sports.
Wild fans will see Charlie Coyle, likely on the Minnesota's first line, in his second career NHL game after debuting against the Coyotes on Monday night. Mike Rupp will make his Wild debut against the Vancouver Canucks after being acquired in a trade for Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri on Monday afternoon.
Swapping fourth line players is not a panic move; patience people.
The Wild looked undersized and were being pushed around all over the ice. Coyle is 6-foot-2, 200-plus pounds and is a hopeful first liner for the Wild for many years. Rupp is 6-foot-5, 240-plus pounds and doesn't mind scrapping.
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher wanted to make the team bigger and stronger; mission accomplished.
This morning, coach Mike Yeo announced that Mikael Granlund would be a healthy scratch, not an unusual experience for a rookie at the NHL level. Patience people.
"I think it's good for young players to have to work for everything that they get," Yeo said. "Not to say that he hasn't, but he's never had to push through something like this. These kinds of things make you stronger. And that's what we want around here."
Granlund's low offensive numbers wouldn't be as big of an issue if other guys were performing at a high level, but Kyle Brodziak and Devin Setoguchi have had a rough start to the season, just to name a few. Michael Russo of the Star Tribune said on Twitter there's zero per cent chance Brodziak comes out of the lineup because he's their best checking center, especially against the Sedin's.
Mike Richards and Jarome Iginla just scored their first goals of the season two nights ago. Patience people.
Brief recap since opening night: Jared Spurgeon's out with an injury, Jonas Brodin and Marco Scandella have been called up, Coyle was called up, Powe was traded for Rupp, and Granlund's going to be scratched.
The Wild need to be careful this season. This isn't a one and done season; this is a process. Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Matt Cullen and Niklas Backstrom are all free agents after this season. Setoguchi, recently demoted to the fourth line, and Dany Heatley have a lot to prove if they want to continue to wear Wild sweaters. Johan Larsson and Jason Zucker are chomping at the bit down in Houston.
Should the Wild make the playoffs this season? Yes. Should the Wild be scoring more than one goal a game? Yes. Are their road struggles a concern? Yes.
However, the 4-4-1 record is not a major cause for concern. Patience people, the San Jose Sharks were mixing up their lines and they hadn't lost yet.
The Wild has played some good teams, teams that have been together for years. The Wild has one week to prepare for this season and their current roster has eight players that didn't wear a Wild sweater last season.
Tonight is a big game for the Wild. They are currently 1-0-0 in their division and four of their next five games are against divisional opponents. They've had a few days off to practice together; they've mixed up all four lines and are playing their biggest rivals at home.
It is not do or die; it's just part of the process. Patience people.