Monday, September 26, 2011

Behind The Net: Roster Trimming, Scandella, Goaltending, and the Winter Classic

  • Yesterday, the Wild trimmed their roster from 46 to 28 yesterday. Notable players that made the cut were Marco Scandella, Justin Falk, Nate Prosser, Casey Wellman, and Brett Bulmer. The Wild need to have their roster trimmed to 23 players by opening night, so it will be interesting to see who can step up and make their case to stay on the team when the Wild open their season on October 8th.
  • One of the players who made the cut yesterday was Marco Scandella. And honestly, if you have watched the Wild at any point this preseason, he should be on the opening night lineup card. He has been very solid so far. Not one bad play with the puck. And somehow, he managed to play all three consecutive games this past week between the Blues, Blue Jackets, and Penguins (On consecutive nights). The only blemish for him this preseason was the instigating penalty he took against Pittsburgh, that set him back 19 minutes in the box. Scandella projects to be a very good defenseman for the Wild, so look for him to get solid time with the big club this year.
  • Up until Friday's game with Pittsburgh, Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding had been having very solid preseasons. But then Harding had a shaky start against Columbus, and Backstrom did not look good against Pittsburgh (Then again, no one would, when Pittsburgh has 300 Power Plays). Both goaltenders were playing their first full games of the season then as well. So look for some bounceback games from the two this week as they tune up for the October 6th opener.
  • This afternoon, the NHL announced that they will be playing the 2012 NHL Winter Classic in Philadelphia between the Flyers and Rangers at Citizens Bank Park (Home of the Phillies). The Flyers are making their second appearance (2010-Boston) in the league's showcase game, and the Rangers are making their first. The Flyers join the Penguins as the teams to be in this twice. This is one of my favorite sporting events of the year. And hopefully, this event can come to the Twin Cities in the not so distant future.

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