Mikael Granlund, who has dealt with concussion issues causing him to miss the last 11 games, will return to the Minnesota Wild lineup Sunday against the New York Rangers.
“We’ll be realistic with our expectations, but I think there’s no better way of getting right back in there than to throw him back into the fire,” Wild head coach Mike Yeo told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune prior to puck drop.
Earlier this month, the 21-year-old Granlund was essentially shut down as he continued to struggle in his recovery from a concussion on Nov. 27.
“I just know that we’re not making progress, and so what we’re doing right now, we have to take a different approach,” Yeo said at the time.
In his sophomore season with the Wild, Granlund has two goals and 12 points in 24 games.
The Wild are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.
Updated: Granlund was given the second assist on Jason Pominville’s opening goal at 4:08 of the first period.
For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.
They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: