USA TODAY Sports
The big story for the game is losing Erik Johnson to a concussion.
What more can you really say? Two of the Avalanche's best players last season have already missed significant time this year, one of whom won't be back until next September. The forward corps depleted, the team has found it hard to put pucks in the net. Now, with the team's top defenseman out, the number of pucks let into the Avalanche net is bound to increase. A defense made up of five bottom pairing guys and one second pairing guy is going to have a hard time keeping top teams at bay. And let's face it: most teams are above the Avs in the standings, including every single Western Conference team.
I know this sounds all doom and gloom, but I guess it is. The last time the Avs and Wild met, the Wild took the game 4-2. Special teams were the difference in that game, and with an anemic power play missing a quarterback and a penalty kill lacking its most able defenseman, it just doesn't look good.
The Wild are basically at .500 on the season, and the guys you'd expect to be scoring a lot definitely are. Hopefully, the Avs pull one out, but as Max once said, "It will take a miracle."
Matt Hunwick and John Mitchell return; JS Giguere will get the start.
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day
Massacre Part II.