After seven games in 11 days, the Minnesota Wild players had the day off, which they most certainly enjoyed unless they are Gopher football fans (although hopefully some of the public sentiment has changed after the new head coach’s entertaining press conference). But every player knows that the day after an off day is going to be a serious work day, especially with three non-game days ahead.
Players were worked for more than an hour in what Todd Richards said had “a good pace.” The guys have more work ahead of them tonight, however, when they don ties and aprons to serve dinner and drinks to fans at the Wild About Children event at Pazzaluna in downtown St. Paul. The always popular event raises money to benefit Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
Eric Nystrom, who has quickly established himself as one of the locker room cutups, will be interviewing his teammates for Wild TV. Let the hilarity ensue.
Back to practice. Brent Burns missed today’s skate due to illness. However, the Wild did have six defensemen because Clayton Stoner returned to the ice after suffering an upper body injury. It looks as though he’ll be available when the Wild resumes play on Thursday in Phoenix.
Richards talked at length about Jared Spurgeon today, saying he still falls into the category of “good enough to get here, but is he good enough to stay here?” But despite a few struggles against the big forwards of Dallas, Richards praised his puck-moving and ability to limit opponent scoring chances. He also said he wins a lot of battles for a guy his size.
Richards was then asked about his “state of mind” and one reporter said there’s been “reports in the media” about his job. Richards’ response was, “Aren’t you the media?” which was followed by loud guffaws from everyone in attendance. But Richards was pushed on the topic, and I’ll refer you to Kevin Falness’ PONDcast for his interesting take on the situation. Go to the end of the media address for all of that.
And speaking of Falness, it is his birthday today, and I encourage you all to friend him on Facebook so you can wish him the best on the big 5-0!