With a five-game road trip coming to a close tonight for the first place Minnesota Wild, the club has recalled forward Casey Wellman from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. Considering the way Wellman has been racking up 10 goals, including seven on the power play, it was becoming a matter of when, not if he would get the call to Minnesota. Wellman’s 10 tallies lead the Aeros and rank tied for second in the AHL.
The Blue Jackets snapped a three-game skid on Saturday night with a 2-1 home win over the Winnipeg Jets. Rookie Ryan Johansen scored both Columbus goals and Steve Mason earned the win by stopping 35 shots.
Wild at Blue Jackets will be broadcast locally in high definition on Fox Sports North with a start time at 6:00 PM. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
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The Blue Jackets are asking fans to join them in supporting The Salvation Army in Central Ohio’s efforts to help local families in need this holiday season by donating a coat during collections at several upcoming home games, including tonight’s. Just because you would never cheer for the Blue Jackets in 100 years doesn’t mean you can’t help them out with a good cause.
These are the types of games that coaches and players dread. While we as fans look at the Blue Jackets and their miniscule win total, we start thinking about automatic wins. We tend to forget that the Jackets have won three of their last five home games, they’ve always played the Wild tough at home and they’ve got some serious skill in the lineup with Rick Nash, Jeff Carter and Johansen.
Nash has tallied just four goals this season, and Carter is without a goal in six games after coming off injured reserve, but either is capable of striking at any time.
Nate Prosser’s game is as steady as it comes, especially considering he played in five NHL games prior to this season. While offense isn’t his specialty, Prosser has played the last eight games and has an assist in half of them, including each of the last two contests. He’s just two points back of the team scoring lead among defensemen.
One of the reasons Wellman started the year in Houston is because he needed to get ice time on offensive lines and on the power play. Wellman is currently considered a gametime decision, but if he gets in he could very well get some time on the power play with Guillaume Latendresse sidelined with a concussion.
On Sunday, the Wild took the opening faceoff and then started delivering punches to the mouth (not literally) for the next 20 minutes. The tone was set, and by the time the Ducks realized where they were, it was 3-0 and only 40 minutes remained.
Playing the part of the guy that starts the fight was the third line of Brodziak, Darroll Powe and Nick Johnson. That trio is becoming the most complete line on the Wild with their hard-nosed forecheck and willingness to drive the net to create chaos in front.
“Occasionally you might slip. We all do. But you have to evaluate yourself properly and then get back to that standard, get back to that level quickly.”
- Mike Yeo on how impressed he was with his team’s response to a loss in Los Angeles
Columbus assistant coach Todd Richards was the second ever head coach in Wild history and led the team the previous two seasons.
The Wild’s 21 points is the highest total through 17 games since the 2008-09 season, when the team had 23 points by this point. That was also the last time the Wild was in first place this late in the season.