With Jonas Brodin unavailable, Wild recall Andrej Sustr
It’s unclear how much time Brodin will miss with the lower-body injury
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin was not available for Thursday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. He suffered a lower-body injury in Sunday’s win over the Coyotes, according to coach Dean Evason, and will miss an unspecified amount of time.
“He actually didn’t know he had (the injury) until he woke up,” Evason said. “He was sick prior, and this happened in the game; then when he woke up, he was in pain obviously and had it looked at.”
The loss of Brodin is especially difficult for the Wild heading into a game against superstar Connor McDavid. In the past, Brodin has been matched up with McDavid whenever the Oilers center has gone over the boards.
In his absence, the Wild will roll with pairings of Jake Middleton and Jared Spurgeon, Alex Goligoski and Matt Dumba, and Jon Merrill and Calen Addison.
How long will Brodin be out?
“I don’t know,” Evason said. “It’s not as bad, I guess, as we anticipated. He will not play in tonight’s game. The plan is to bring him on the road, though, so that’s positive for us.”
A four-game trip begins Sunday in Dallas, then moves on to Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Before that, Minnesota is host to Anaheim on Saturday. While it’s likely that Brodin will go on the weeklong trip, the Wild also recalled defenseman Andrej Sustr from AHL Iowa.
As long as Evason has been in charge, he has relied on pairs rather than set trios when filling out his lineup card. That explains why he consistently throws Mason Shaw and Connor Dewar over the boards in any situation. They have proven to be a dynamic duo for the Wild of late.
Why have they worked so well together?
“Because they work their (rear ends) off. It’s as simple as that,” Evason said. “I don’t care about size, or strength, or whatever it is. They work.”
Naturally, when the Wild are on the penalty kill, Shaw and Dewar are among the first players sent over the boards.
“They’re both very diligent,” Evason said. “They just continually push and push. The way we kill penalties, we have to have that energy and we have to have that work ethic.”
Though the Wild have started to get healthy up front, winger Brandon Duhaime (upper-body injury) and Ryan Hartman (upper-body injury) remain conspicuously absent. And neither player appears to be particularly close to returning to the lineup.
Asked about Duhaime, who hasn’t played since the game against the rival Jets on Nov. 23, Evason replied, “He will not come on the road trip with us. That would mean he’s not close.”
Asked about Hartman, who hasn’t played since a game against the rival Blackhawks on Oct. 30, Evason replied, “He’s skated a couple of times. He will not come on the road trip.”
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