Jared Spurgeon Doubtful Tuesday for Minnesota

The Minnesota Wild played better Saturday against the Blues, but still managed to drop their fourth straight game and remain with just a single win in their last 11 matches. That will only get harder when they face the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, with news that Jared Spurgeon has a “deep bruise” and is doubtful for the match.

Spurgeon suffered the injury in Saturday’s loss and left the game early on.

Without Jared Spurgeon

If Spurgeon does miss Tuesday’s game, expect the Wild to call up either Gustav Olofsson or Mike Rielly.

While both are promising defenders, there will be a strain put on the team’s top two defenders — Ryan Suter and Marco Scandella — as Jonas Brodin is already set to miss a month with a broken foot. Spurgeon’s absence would put them down two of their top four defensemen.

The other four defensemen on the roster will be Matt Dumba, Nate Prosser, Christian Folin and a player who gets called up from Iowa. Folin too was recently recalled from Iowa and just grabbed his first game since November 27 on Saturday, when he replaced Brodin.

There won’t be any defensive insurance on the roster either. Tyler Graovac was recalled from Iowa before Saturday’s game to try and inject some life into their tepid offense while coach Mike Yeo scratched Thomas Vanek and Jason Zucker.

That makes it a tight situation on the blue line. If the team doesn’t get some strong play from Folin on his birthday, as well as Rielly or Gustavsson, we could see Suter and Scandella logging some serious minutes, putting further strain on a team that’s already feeling “fragile,” as Suter said after Thursday’s loss to the New York Rangers.

Spurgeon’s absence also gives the team fewer options to fix their ailing power play. Though, it may not effect anything. Yeo played Suter for nearly every power play minute available in Saturday’s game. They connected on just one of seven power play opportunities.

And Another One

The team is hoping for the best with another injury as well.

Mikko Koivu left the ice during Monday’s practice with a minor injury. Yeo dismissed the idea that he’ll miss time though. “Mikko left the ice, had some discomfort. Haven’t talked to the trainers yet, but don’t think it’ll be an issue,” he said.

The Wild have recalled Mike Rielly and reassigned Tyler Graovac to Iowa. With Spurgeon’s injury being short-term, they are not placing him on injured reserve and needed to make spot for a sixth defenseman.

Graovac will have to wait until Sprugeon’s healthy at the earliest to get another look. That’s a casualty of having to carry three goaltenders on the NHL roster.

Those moves would serve to indicate that Spurgeon is very doubtful for Tuesday’s game.

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