Pominville Practices; Playoff Chatter; FOX Sports North Broadcasts

There were some clean shaven faces and a few early playoff beards started at Xcel Energy Center today as the Minnesota Wild practiced before heading to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals tomorrow.

Jason Pominville was back practicing with the team and had a five o’clock shadow while skating on a line with Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. The trio was the hottest forward line for Minnesota before a Dustin Brown elbow knocked Pominville out of the final two regular season games with an upper-body injury. Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo didn’t update Pominville’s status, which is day-to-day, and didn’t divulge if the forward would be ready to start the series tomorrow. However, Yeo did acknowledge to the media after practice that the winger looked good on the ice today.

With Pominville back at forward, here’s what the lines looked like:

Parise – Koivu – Coyle
Zucker – Cullen – Setoguchi
Pominville – Brodziak – Bouchard
Rupp – Mitchell – Clutterbuck
Konopka

Also sporting some postseason scruff was recalled defenseman Marco Scandella, who started the American Hockey League playoffs with the Houston Aeros over the weekend. The blueliner helped the Aeros split the first two games of the opening series with the Grand Rapids Griffins, 1-1. Scandella was recalled this morning and arrived in the State of Hockey in time to practice with the Wild. Scandella was skating with Jared Spurgeon during line rushes. The duo skated in several games together last season. We’ll have to wait till tomorrow to know if Scandella will be in the lineup.

The blue line pairs looked like this:

Suter – Brodin
Scandella – Spurgeon
Gilbert – Stoner
Prosser – Falk – Clark

Today’s practice might’ve been the longest the team has skated in two months, as the Wild took yesterday off after clinching a playoff spot in a tough road win against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Minnesota worked on a number of things, including the power play, which is so important come playoff time. The Wild’s first unit consisted of: Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Kyle Brodziak, with Ryan Suter and Jason Pominville at the point. Pominville has played on the point in the past with Buffalo, but this is the first time we’ve seen him at the power play blue line with Minnesota. The second unit included: Matt Cullen, Devin Setoguchi, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Jonas Brodin and Jared Spurgeon.

After the skate, Zach Parise talked to the media about the team not being satisfied with just making the playoffs, the matchup with the Hawks and how the intensity ramps up in the second season.

Defenseman Ryan Suter also spoke to the media about the team’s need to stay composed, the atmosphere in the United Center and what it will take for the Wild to top the Blackhawks.

Off the ice, the Minnesota Wild Foundation is encouraging fans to join the club’s Playoff Beard-A-Thon. There are several ways to contribute and you can find out more, here.

The Wild’s opening round against the Blackhawks will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports North. All telecasts will include a one-hour Wild Live pregame show, as well as postgame coverage.

Playoff coverage begins on Tuesday, April 30 at 6:00 p.m. with a one-hour edition of Wild Live. Game 3 of the series vs. Chicago will air on NBC, but FOX Sports North’s Wild playoff coverage will remain with a special edition of Wild Live, immediately following the game at 4:30 p.m.

Here is the Fox Sports North broadcast schedule:

Tuesday, April 30 – Game 1
6:00 p.m. Wild Live on FOX Sports North
7:00 p.m. Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
9:30 p.m. Wild Live on FOX Sports North

Friday, May 3 – Game 2
7:30 p.m. Wild Live on FOX Sports North
8:30 p.m. Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. Wild Live on FOX Sports North

Sunday, May 5 – Game 3
(2 p.m. Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks on NBC)
4:30 p.m. Wild Live on FOX Sports North

Tuesday, May 7
7:30 p.m. Wild Live on FOX Sports North
8:30 p.m. Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks
11:00 p.m. Wild Live on FOX Sports North

If necessary, FOX Sports North will broadcast additional Wild playoffs games scheduled for May 9, May 11, and May 12, the times TBD.

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One response to “Pominville Practices; Playoff Chatter; FOX Sports North Broadcasts

  1. Going to watch the game tonight !! I hope Pominville is game ready but if not I’m still going to watch.

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