It was a big news day at Xcel Energy Center on Monday with who was and who wasn’t on the ice. So rather than meander through, let’s get down to brass tacks with some bullet points. And come back later today as Wild TV will have footage of Todd Richards (on Koivu and on Latendresse), Guillaume Latendresse and Mikko Koivu speaking with the media:
- Koivu practiced with the team today and got a stick tap from his teammates prior to drills taking place. Koivu saw the doctor today, who said he continues to heal nicely. Koivu still can’t participate in battle drills, and he can’t fully grip the stick like he’s accustomed to doing, but it’s clear he’s getting closer. The captain will be on the team’s upcoming four-game road trip, and it’s possible he could return during one of those games.
- Richards was asked about the status of Latendresse, and Richards said he would be a “maybe” for tomorrow’s game against Colorado. Said Richards: “Tomorrow, maybe. On the road trip, maybe. He’s getting close though.” Latendresse said he felt good during today’s practice, but he was hesitant to say he would be ready by tomorrow. “It’s hard to say,” he said.
- Three players did sit out today’s practice, including Cal Clutterbuck. Richards didn’t have any further update on his status, other than that he is “day-to-day” with an upper body injury. Clutterbuck was on the ice prior to practice for the team photo. Clutterbuck was actually the first player out there and he started shooting a puck into an empty net for awhile, but that was the extent of his ice time today.
- Andrew Brunette also sat out practice with an illness, which is likely the same bug that sidelined Kyle Brodziak and Chuck Kobasew earlier. Richards did not know if Brunette would be ready tomorrow or not, and said he wasn’t sure if a player would need to be recalled from Houston or not.
- Clayton Stoner also was held off the ice with a lower body injury, but Richards said it was more of a maintenance issue, and Stoner should be ready to go tomorrow. The Wild will have seven defensemen available as Cam Barker is now back to full strength.
- Niklas Backstrom is going to get the start in goal for the Wild against the Avs. Obviously, with back-to-back games in Nashville and Dallas on Thursday and Friday, both he and Jose Theodore will be used.