After a 4-1 loss on Saturday, the Wild are switching things up for tonight’s Game 3 of their Western Conference first-round series against the Blues.
Sean Bergenheim, acquired at the trade deadline, will draw back in with Justin Fontaine after both dressed for Game 1 and sat Game 2. They’ll suit up at the expense of Matt Cooke and Jordan Schroeder; the former played just 10:27 on Saturday while the latter finished minus-1 in 8:50 TOI.
“At home here, we know the crowd’s going to be buzzing,” head coach Mike Yeo explained. “We can get in there and bump them a little bit, but to make that happen we need to execute getting up the ice as well.
“That’s where a guy like [Fontaine] comes into play. He’s [also] very quietly become one of our top penalty killers.”
With these moves, it means another seat in the press box for last year’s surprise playoff performer, Erik Haula. After scoring four goals and seven points in 13 games last spring, big things were expected of the Finnish speedster but he struggled during the regular season and has been parked upstairs for the entire Blues series.
“This is not about beating down [Haula],” Yeo explained. “It’s been a trying year for him.”