The Minnesota Wild will be without defenceman Ryan Suter for a while, as he suffered a fractured fibula on Saturday as his team lost to the Dallas Stars.
The injury took place late in the second period after the blueliner was hit by Dallas’ Remi Elie.
Suter’s leg hit the boards awkwardly and he was helped off the ice, putting no weight on his right leg.
Minnesota is also without Suter’s partner on the club’s top defensive pairing. Jared Spurgeon has been out since March 13 with a partial tear to his hamstring. He’s expected to be on the shelf for about a month.
Suter had been a bit of an iron man prior to this injury. He had appeared in every game this season, plus skated in all 82 games for the past two seasons. He averages well over 26 minutes of ice time a game and was on his way to career-high point totals this season with 51.
The Wild have called up defenceman Carson Soucy from Iowa. The 23-year-old leads the AHL club in plus-minus.
“It’d be interesting to see how many games we’ve actually played with the lineup that you pencil in at the beginning of the year,” Wild forward Zach Parise said. “We haven’t had that too often. Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve dealt with. If Ryan’s going to be out for a while, we’re going to have elevate our game even more.”
Minnesota currently sits third in the Central Division with a 43-25-10 record, good for 96 points. That’s four up on the St. Louis Blues.
The Wild have just four games to go this season, including their final home game of the season against Edmonton on Monday. They’ll need every point they can get in order to ensure a post-season berth.
The team is 4-3-3 in their last 10 games, but they’ve had a problem with surrendering the first goal. They’re 2-0-4 after doing so and head coach Bruce Boudreau knows it’s a problem, especially with Suter out a while.
“You can’t keep giving up leads and letting the other team score the first goal and expect to win every time,” Boudreau said. “That was six games in a row now that the other team has scored first and it’s hard to keep chasing the game.”
The Wild will have to find a way to put things together over the next while and that starts with not giving up early leads. Their patchwork defence will also have to step up, as the cliché goes, and every game counts.