With just one win and 12 goals in its last six games, Minnesota is changing things up at forward.
That much we know.
What we don’t know is how the new-look Wild will, uh, look. That’s because head coach Mike Yeo refused to divulge details prior to tonight’s game on Long Island, telling reporters they’ll have to wait until warmups to see the changes.
First, some context. The Wild have been slumping lately but are still in reasonably good shape — three of their five losses came in a shootout, meaning they’ve actually collected five points during the “slump.” It’s a big reason why they’re on 80 points and holding the first of two wild card spots in the Western Conference, five clear of ninth-place Dallas.
That said, all is not well in Minnesota.
Outside of the stellar Zach Parise-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville line, scoring has been virtually non-existent. Matt Moulson, the club’s big deadline day acquisition, has struggled to find his niche in the lineup and has just one goal through six games.
Captain Mikko Koivu is pointless in his last four games. Nino Niederreiter has two points in his last eight. Charlie Coyle has one goal since the Olympic break. And so on. And so forth.
Following Monday’s 4-1 loss to Boston — Minnesota’s second straight game scoring just one goal — Yeo acknowledged changes were necessary up front to help generate some offense.
“Certainly, we’re going to look at our lines,” Yeo said, per the Pioneer Press. “I’m not sure we have exactly the right mix.
“We have to figure that out, though, because it doesn’t quite have the right feel right now.”
Thomas Greiss will be between the pipes for the New York Islanders when they host the Blackhawks tonight in Brooklyn.
Greiss was signed this offseason to back up Jaroslav Halak, who skated this morning but remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
“Jaro’s not 100 percent right now, so it was an easy decision,” coach Jack Capuano told Newsday. “Jaro’s progressing well and we’ll see how he is moving forward.”
Greiss will be backed up by J-F Berube, who was claimed off waivers from Los Angeles earlier in the week.
Corey Crawford will be in goal for Chicago.
These two teams meet again tomorrow at United Center.
— Michael Hutchinson goes for the Jets in New Jersey after Ondrej Pavelec got the win last night in Boston. Cory Schneider for the Devils.
— Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers. Sergei Bobrovsky for the Blue Jackets in their opener.
— Jonathan Bernier for the Leafs. Jimmy Howard for the Red Wings in their opener.
— Mike Smith for the Coyotes. Jonathan Quick likely for the Kings, who will need a better effort than the one they had Wednesday against San Jose.
Related: Mike Smith seeing benefit from sports psychologist
Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.
Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.
Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.
“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”
Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.
According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.