The Nashville Predators are just a short time away from facing their Central Division rival, the Minnesota Wild.
The Predators (25-23-9) have a chance to pull within two points of the final Western Conference Wild Card spot, if they can claim a pivotal “four-point game” against the Minnesota Wild (30-21-7).
The main news coming from Minnesota today was quite a bit different than the normal lineup and goaltender information that is usually passed a long.
First, Predators general manger David Poile, who is traveling with the team, caught a deflected pass from defenseman Shea Weber in the face during Nashville’s morning skate. The GM was standing in a hallway near the team’s bench and was caught off-guard by the incoming puck.
Poile was taken to a local hospital where he received almost 40 stitches and other work to repair a broken orbital bone.
And as if that wasn’t enough, Predators television play-by-play announcer Pete Weber was also hospitalized after he suffered a heart attack earlier today. Weber is currently resting and recovering and said to be past serious danger. You can read the statement released by the team here.
Milwaukee Admirals play-by-play broadcaster Aaron Sims will take over radio duties tonight as normal broadcaster Willy Daunic slides into the spot vacated by Weber.
As for more normal updates, both goaltenders have been announced for the clubs. Netminder Carter Hutton is between the pipes for Nashville and Darcy Kuemper will be in the crease for the Wild.
A battle of two rookie goaltenders, who have both been performing very well recently.
The Predators will be wearing their home gold uniforms tonight despite being on the road, the Wild have chosen to be in white.
Still no official word on whether Nashville forwards Matt Cullen or Viktor Stalberg will return to the ice tonight. Although the lack of call-ups from Milwaukee likely means at least one of them will be back in Predators gold this evening.
The puck drops at 7:08 p.m. (CST).