Fathers, hide your daughters because the “Minnesota Wild Mo Bros” are back for Novem…er…MOvember, 2010, which will be presented by Sun Country Airlines this year. Of course, last year there were plenty of beautiful caterpillars on the upper lips of the Mo Bros (as you can see in this video).
This year, a couple players are already in full-blown Mo mode. Greg Zanon (no surprise here) already has a bushy ‘stache, and Eric Nystrom is already rocking some handlebars. I cry foul, because the rules explicitly state that participants are supposed to be clean-shaven on day one. Unless Zanon and Nystrom can grow hair that quickly in four hours, they are breaking the rules. Zanon said he had clearance “from the commissioner,” whatever that means.
Anyway, there will be all kinds of fun things going on in Movember, including the November 26 game against Nashville when Xcel Energy Center is aiming to house the largest gathering of people with moustaches, ever.
That means Wild fans, not just players, are encouraged to grow moustaches, and can sign up for the campaign at http://www.movember.com. Now, I know what ladies out there are thinking: “I want to grow a moustache, too!” By all means, go ahead. The Mo the merrier I always say. But if you are follically challenged on the upper lip, please consider a donation to support the fight against prostate cancer.
Now then, the Wild was missing Antti Miettinen (concussion), Guillaume Latendresse (groin) and Chuck Kobasew (groin) at practice today. Miettinen and Latendresse have already been ruled out for tomorrow’s game. Todd Richards said he fully expects Kobasew to be ready to go, but if not, a call down to Houston will be necessary.
Kobasew, if he’s able, will once again play alongside Mikko Koivu and Andrew Brunette. However, Richards did say at some point in the game, he may put Marty Havlat on that line as he did against Chicago.
The other hot topic at practice today was Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Once again, Bouchard was going at full speed during today’s practice. He certainly looks good, but he’s not quite there. Bouchard said he is getting closer and feels good, but he doesn’t want to set a date and then be disappointed.
Richards said the next step will be a meeting with all of the necessary parties to determine if Butch should head down to Houston for a rehab assignment, or just jump into NHL action. For that meeting to take place, Bouchard said he’ll need a few more practices with some more battles down low and contact. He did say that a return does feel close.
With Kobasew out, Bouchard skated with Brunette and Koivu, and at least in practice, they looked very good together.
The only other bit of practice that stands out was a drill involving traffic in front of the net. Assistant Coach Rick Wilson was sending shots to get tipped, but he ended up sniping one past Jose Theodore, and he got several cheers for that. Any more injuries to the blueline this year, and Wilson might be called upon to be a player-coach.