Meet the new 2C….

Sharp-Toews-Hossa

Saad-Versteeg-Kane

Morin-Nordstrom-Brookbank

Bollig-Kruger-Smith

Crawford

It is what it is. I’m not going to second-guess this overmuch. These lines probably make the most sense based on the pieces available in St Paul. The fact that there is an NHL-ready (if not 100% yet then learning) Center getting ready for a game in Charlotte with the Icehogs tonight while a winger is the 2nd Line pivot and two players with 8 & 9 NHL games between them are on the 3rd line with a Defenseman is just one of those things that we’re going to have to try to ignore and have faith that Q knows what he’s doing.

Otherwise we might think he’s out of his mind.

As my esteemed colleague JesusMarianHossa pointed out on Twitter, chances are that the erstwhile 3rd line will be more like the 4th, certainly in terms of TOI. This whole “The 4th Line is ROCKIN'” narrative should get put to a stern test because it’s been a possession black-hole and is likely to see some hefty opposition tonight.

Mike Yeo does love his match-ups and obviously has last change. so look for him to get his big guns out aginst them. The Minnesota lines have a slightly makeshift look about them, with Mikael Granlund now out indefinitely with a concussion.  They are expected to roll Parise-Koivu-Pominville ahead of Heatley-Coyle-Niederreiter. This could get hairy quite quickly.  Apparently Saad could also see some time at Center, too. What is guaranteed is a lot of double-shifting, so it’s a good thing this isn’t the first of a back-to-back with the Ducks coming to Chicago tomorrow, hey?

Anyway, I would expect the line blender in overdrive if things don’t start well tonight.

The Wild are no slouches, as we discovered already this year, outside of the top-tier Parise & Suter, they have Jason Pominville, Coyle & Niederreiter all contributing well. Jared Spurgeon is having an excellent year thus far and of course there’s that goalie. The Wild allow the 2nd fewest Shots Against in the League and Josh Harding has a SV% of .939.

This could be a long night against a genuine Conference III contender.

Of course, it might all click brilliantly, the Hawks annihilate the Wild and Q looks like a genius.

Guess there’s only one way to find out.

Puck drops at 7