The Minnesota Wild need to find a way to airlift the Xcel Energy Center with them when they leave Minnesota, because lately it seems like nothing short of that will end their road woes.
The Wild ended their four-game road trip with a 6-4 loss against the Winnipeg Jets. It was the closest they came to a victory during their latest excursion.
Of course, they didn’t have goaltender Josh Harding for their stint away from home. He has been the Wild’s best player so far this season, but he had to take some time off while he changed his treatment protocol for Multiple Sclerosis. He’s off the injured reserve list now, so he should be available in the near future.
That being said, the Wild’s struggles can’t be summed up by the absence of Harding. They are 6-12-3 on the road this season, compared to 14-3-2 in Minnesota.
The good news is that they’re heading back home, so they don’t have to worry about breaking out of that slump in the short-term, but their failures have put more pressure on them to continue their torrid pace at home.
Or as defenseman Ryan Suter plainly put it to the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Michael Russo, “We can’t win on the road, so we better play hard at home.”
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.
It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?
OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.
Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.
There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:
Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.