Hi, Wild fans! Just a quick post today to make sure you’ve got the latest on all things Wild since I’ve got some things to do for Hockey Day Minnesota on Saturday. The guys on the Wild are just as busy, having a late practice this morning before hopping a plane to St. Louis in the next hour. The Wild will play in St. Louis tomorrow and then finish off the home-and-home when it hosts the Blues Saturday as the Hockey Day finale at 8 p.m.
Wild defenseman Greg Zanon was the lone Wild player missing from today’s practice, but since he’s Greg Zanon, I wasn’t that worried. Neither was Todd Richards who said after practice that Zanon is “just sore” from taking a puck to the elbow in yesterday’s game and should play tomorrow. Richards had some great lines about the toughness of NHL players today and their willingness to put their body in front of 100 MPH shots without blinking, and some especially funny quips about everyone’s favorite shot blocker. Hear his comments to the media in today’s PONDcast.
Richards must’ve been happy with last night’s win because he had some fun with the media, acting like he’d keep the goalie decisions for this weekend’s games a secret, before smiling and giving them away: Jose Theodore will play in St. Louis tomorrow and Niklas Backstrom will get the Hockey Day start Saturday.
Other than the lineup announcements, there wasn’t much news from practice. The West just continues to be unbelievably tight and the Wild continues to be forced to win to stay in the thick of things.
The Wild and Blues will face each other for the first time this season and Richards talked about how this weekend is a battle between the two organizations, with two Wild-Blues games and two Aeros-Rivermen games. Of course, the second AHL game will be at Xcel Energy Center Sunday at 1 p.m. Click here to get all the details, including specifics on Wild and Aeros autograph sessions.
Finally, kudos to the Wild video and game operations staff for an excellent job on the pre-game ceremony honoring Andrew Brunette last night. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the festivities, check it out here.