Good afternoon from Atlanta, Georgia, where I’m coming to you from Minnesota Wild-Baltimore Ravens headquarters, which is a downtown Atlanta hotel. The Ravens are taking on the Falcons tonight at the same time the Wild goes up against the Thrashers. I’m excited to see who wins the attendance battle.
It was a cool day at the morning skate today. If you saw the Wild Outfit contest on Wild.com, you saw the first photo of Scott Scherbing and Dan Schmitt. These two are Minnesota natives who served together in Iraq, and are now stationed in Savannah, Georgia, a three and a half hour drive from Atlanta. These two guys are die-hard Wild fans, so they were not going to miss tonight’s game, which happens to fall on Veteran’s Day. They got an added treat this morning, though.
Along with another soldier, Jake, they watched today’s morning skate, and then met military enthusiast, Brent Burns. They presented Burns with a framed photo (the same one that appeared on Wild.com) as well as the flag in the photo, which was flown over Iraq and Afghanistan combat MEDVAC missions in a UH-60 “Dustoff” Blackhawk helicopter.
Burns was blown away by the gifts, and in his sweat soaked underclothes, he talked to the guys for a good 20 minutes, and he was asking the questions. We’ll have a video up on Wild.com later today of the presentation and a Mike Greenlay interview with the guys.
As for the skate itself, Todd Richards liked what he saw, but said that doesn’t always translate to good performances. The Wild doesn’t have any extra bodies tonight, so everybody will be in. Richards said there might be a callup or two necessary at some point today or tomorrow. With another game tomorrow and one on Sunday afternoon, he’d like to have some insurance but will have to talk to General Manager Chuck Fletcher.
Cal Clutterbuck will start on the top line tonight, Richards said there could very well be some juggling going on. Antti Miettinen, who returns from a concussion tonight, could see some time on the top line, or on the second line with Matt Cullen and Martin Havlat. It’s going to be pretty fluid.
Niklas Backstrom will start tonight, and Jose Theodore will get another start tomorrow in Florida.