There aren’t too many game-less stretches like the one the Wild is currently enjoying, so that means there is plenty to get done on the ice and off.
On the ice, Head Coach Mike Yeo is using the time for some relatively lengthy and up-tempo practices as the team continues to work on several areas. Tuesday’s practice included more power play work, and Dany Heatley was involved once again after missing yesterday’s skate with a groin injury.
Greg Zanon and Guillame Latendresse missed a second day of practice with their own groin issues. Yeo did not sound optimistic that either would be available on Thursday, but he didn’t have much information beyond that.
Those two missed out on the chance to try and destroy an apparently indestructible hard drive owned by the St. Paul Pioneer Press today. Marco Scandella, Brett Bulmer, Justin Falk, Matt Kassian and others took turns taking slap shots at the device that measured about four inches long and one inch thick. Scandella whacked like he would a golf ball, and it was his stick that broke, not the hard drive.
Off the ice, players are able to use some time to have some fun in recent days. Following Saturday’s game, the team held its rookie dinner in Vancouver, although there were no reports of Michael Strahan or Charles Barkley showing up as they did last year.
Tonight, the real fun begins, though. Darroll Powe and Pierre-Marc Bouchard will be at Jimmy’s Food and Drink in Vadnais Heights for Hockey Unplugged. As part of the night, they’ll be celebrity bartenders, and word has it that Powe makes a mean Screaming Viking (reference only for people old enough to remember Cheers).
The team has one more practice tomorrow to tune up for the Anaheim Ducks, who hold the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings, one behind the Wild.