Posted by Mike Doyle
Guillaume Latendresse missed the third period of Thursday night’s game against San Jose, and the physical winger will miss more.
Latendresse didn’t skate with the team today and has been diagnosed with a concussion. The Wild practiced today in San Jose before traveling to Los Angeles and will face the Kings tomorrow night. He is traveling with the team to L.A., but will not play. Puck drop is at 9:30 p.m. CST at the STAPLES Center.
Before Thursday night, the Ste.-Catherine, Quebec native was on a three game goal-scoring streak. Latendresse is tied for third on the team in scoring with eight points on four goals and four assists.
With Latendresse out, Warren Peters will likely be inserted into the lineup. Peters played Tuesday in Calgary after being recalled from Houston.
Posted by Mike Doyle
Guillaume Latendresse (groin) was back on the ice today after missing three days of practice and the Wild’s last game against the Vancouver Canucks. Head Coach Mike Yeo said Latendresse felt great and that he will be available tomorrow night against the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center, but hasn’t decided if he will play.
If Latendresse is held out of the lineup for more rest, expect to see the top two lines combinations of Clutterbuck-Koivu-Heatley and Bouchard-Cullen-Setoguchi. Yeo said Clutterbuck might be a good fit on the line because he is the type of player who can retrieve loose pucks in the corners and provide a physical presence alongside the skill of Koivu and Heatley. Clutterbuck also spent some time standing in front of the net on the power play because according to Yeo, “He’s really good at annoying people” and hopes the forward can annoy opposing goaltenders while screening them. We couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not.
The second line of Bouchard-Cullen-Setoguchi will be interesting to watch because of their speed. Yeo said that the team has to find a way to be at their best every night, and that he wasn’t just brining out the bingo balls and hoping to find a winner. Yeo said there are several things that can put fear into other teams and one of those things is speed, so he is intrigued to see how they will perform together. Sometimes you have to mix things up to provide a spark.
Against Vancouver, a spark was found in the third line of Buler-Brodziak-Johnson, and Yeo said it would be tough to tinker with the trio. Brodziak scored on a strong side one-timer after receiving a pass from Johnson, who ditched a Vancouver defenseman behind the net with a quick U-turn move. As the game wore on, the combo played well, generating chances with a relentless forecheck and were rewarded with more ice time.
Also likely to see more ice time will be Defenseman Justin Falk, who replaced Greg Zanon (groin) Saturday. Zanon again didn’t skate today and Falk is expected to see his second game of the season tomorrow against the Ducks.
Post by Mike Doyle
For the first time this season – with the exception of Mike Lundin, who hasn’t skated because of a nagging back injury – the injury bug may bite the Wild against the Vancouver Canucks today.
Because of the early start time (3 p.m. in the State of Hockey) in Vancouver, the status of Mikko Koivu, Greg Zanon and Guillaume Latendresse will be unknown nearly until puck drop. The team didn’t participate in a morning skate and all three are game-time decisions.
Koivu received 10 stitches to the face after being clipped by linemate Dany Heatley’s skate against the Oilers Thursday night. Koivu didn’t skate yesterday, but signs point toward him playing tonight. One of the setbacks: the chin-piece of a full facemask would rest on the sewn-up area. If he skates without a mask, the wound will have no protection. If he skates with it, a solid knock to the mask would likely reopen the wound.
Zanon missed the third period against the Oilers due to a tweaked groin. The shot-blocking machine has only missed one game during the past three seasons. If he is a no-go, Justin Falk will see his first action of the year.
Latendresse was held out of practice with a lower-body injury. The team leader in points missed 58 games (10/28-3/6) last season following surgeries to his left hip. Hopefully, the big winger was held out for precautionary measures. If he is rested, Nick Johnson will likely be inserted into the lineup with some line shuffling to follow.
It was a big news day at Xcel Energy Center on Monday with who was and who wasn’t on the ice. So rather than meander through, let’s get down to brass tacks with some bullet points. And come back later today as Wild TV will have footage of Todd Richards (on Koivu and on Latendresse), Guillaume Latendresse and Mikko Koivu speaking with the media:
- Koivu practiced with the team today and got a stick tap from his teammates prior to drills taking place. Koivu saw the doctor today, who said he continues to heal nicely. Koivu still can’t participate in battle drills, and he can’t fully grip the stick like he’s accustomed to doing, but it’s clear he’s getting closer. The captain will be on the team’s upcoming four-game road trip, and it’s possible he could return during one of those games.
- Richards was asked about the status of Latendresse, and Richards said he would be a “maybe” for tomorrow’s game against Colorado. Said Richards: “Tomorrow, maybe. On the road trip, maybe. He’s getting close though.” Latendresse said he felt good during today’s practice, but he was hesitant to say he would be ready by tomorrow. “It’s hard to say,” he said.
- Three players did sit out today’s practice, including Cal Clutterbuck. Richards didn’t have any further update on his status, other than that he is “day-to-day” with an upper body injury. Clutterbuck was on the ice prior to practice for the team photo. Clutterbuck was actually the first player out there and he started shooting a puck into an empty net for awhile, but that was the extent of his ice time today.
- Andrew Brunette also sat out practice with an illness, which is likely the same bug that sidelined Kyle Brodziak and Chuck Kobasew earlier. Richards did not know if Brunette would be ready tomorrow or not, and said he wasn’t sure if a player would need to be recalled from Houston or not.
- Clayton Stoner also was held off the ice with a lower body injury, but Richards said it was more of a maintenance issue, and Stoner should be ready to go tomorrow. The Wild will have seven defensemen available as Cam Barker is now back to full strength.
- Niklas Backstrom is going to get the start in goal for the Wild against the Avs. Obviously, with back-to-back games in Nashville and Dallas on Thursday and Friday, both he and Jose Theodore will be used.
Minnesota Wild defenseman Cam Barker suffered an upper body injury during last night’s win over Edmonton. At this point, it’s unknown how severe the injury is, but Barker will not make the trip out West for Thursday’s game against Los Angeles and Friday’s tilt in Anaheim.
The Wild does have six healthy defensemen available, but is likely to call up another from Houston tonight. Elk River native Nate Prosser headlines the list of available Aeros defensemen and could be the callup.
While Barker will stay home, Guillaume Latendresse and James Sheppard will be on the trip to Cali. It’s not expected that either are going to play, but they will likely hit the ice with the team during the morning skates. Make sure you hit up today’s Wild PONDcast as Kevin Falness chatted with Sheppard about the trip earlier today.
Both Sheppard and Latendresse were on the ice today in a very optional Wild practice. Jared Spurgeon and Cody Almond were the only two players from last night’s game to take the ice today.