MONDAY'S STORYLINE: No one likes to be a healthy scratch. Wild Forward Nick Johnson has been through it a few times this year and it isn't fun.
After Minnesota's 4-3 loss to Calgary last Sunday, Mike Yeo said he wasn't happy with certain players and indicated someone would be sitting down as a healthy scratch during their March 13 game against Dallas.
That someone ended up being rookie forward Nick Johnson.
Johnson, who is tied for ninth in rookie scoring, watched the Dallas game from the press box and said watching the game from above helped him realize what he could do better on the ice.
Johnson was inserted back in the lineup Saturday against Carolina and had an immediate impact. The hard-nosed forward scored a goal and registered 4 shots on goal. He admits that sometimes during a season you can get complacent and his one game as a healthy scratch let him know there will be consequences.
"You watch and you realize you have been a little complacent, not all the way in," said Johnson. "There are always consequences and you defiantly forget about that sometimes during the year but it takes a lot to win."
Yeo was happy with the way Johnson reacted to being a healthy scratch, but still expects more from his young forward tonight.
"The biggest thing that I am looking for and that we want, the reason we did it in the first place, was we want to see urgency every game," said Yeo. "That is an attitude that we have to have as a team and also an individuals, is make sure that we are not satisfied. It is great that he played a good game but my expectations are still very high for this game tonight."
HACKETT REASSINGED: Goalie Matt Hackett was reassigned to Houston. Josh Harding will start, while Niklas Backstrom, who has missed seven games with a lower body injury, will back-up.
"He was close to ready for a couple days. We are not going to dress a goaltender as a backup unless he has the ability to play," said Yeo of Backstrom.
KOIVU GETTING CLOSE: Mikko Koivu will miss his 15th game tonight with an upper body injury. Yeo said Koivu is looking better every day and is "very close" to a return.
HE SAID IT: "I always feel comfortable on the road, I don't know what it is, I do like playing on the road a little bit. They are going through a tough time right now, but they have always given us trouble in this building, it has never been an easy game. They have blown us out a few times. We never expect them to lay down, we are always waiting for a hard game in here." -- Cory Schneider, tonight's starting goalie for Vancouver, on playing the Wild in St. Paul.