During tonight’s pregame warmups, the Minnesota Wild will wear camouflage jerseys in support of our troops and to raise money for the Defending the Blue Line charity. It’s a fitting day to wear the jerseys, considering the Wild locker room was over run by an army of Canadian journalists today. There were more bottom-feeding media members in the Wild locker room today than there were players.
Of course, a lot of media showed up for Mikko Koivu’s press conference in which he addressed his finger injury. There will be video of Koivu’s media scrum shortly on Wild.com.
Koivu said the good news he can continue to skate starting next week and stay well conditioned, as opposed to having to rest a leg or back injury. The aspect of his game that will need to wait will be his shot and his ability to take faceoffs.
The captain shied away from giving a timeline but he’ll see the hand specialist again on Monday to get a progress report. He noted that it was a clean break, which typically means it should heal faster.
Todd Richards said he’s going to look to give Cody Almond more ice time tonight so he can prove himself. He compared Almond’s situation to what Clayton Stoner and Jared Spurgeon went through. They can’t earn their ice time if not given the chance, so he will give Almond plenty of shifts tonight.
Richards is also moving Kyle Brodziak back to the line with Martin Havlat and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Matt Cullen will get the chance to skate between Andrew Brunette and Antti Miettinen.
For the third straight game, Richards will go with seven defensemen. Brad Staubitz will most likely be the healthy scratch again tonight.
And of course, you can get a permanent marker out when you fill out the starting goalie for the Wild tonight. Niklas Backstrom, who is 16-2-1 in his career against the Oilers and 12-0-0 when they visit Xcel Energy Center. It’s the longest current home win streak by any goaltender vs. one team.