Matt Hackett is set to make his first NHL start tonight with Niklas Backstrom as his backup. Head Coach Mike Yeo said he’d like to get Backstrom a couple more practices, but he also noted how well Hackett played in his debut against San Jose, and said it was worth putting him in there again today.
Cal Clutterbuck took part in the early portion of today’s morning skate, but he left the ice early and has been ruled out for tonight. Jeff Taffe, who arrived shortly after noon Pacific time and did not skate, will likely play on the top line with Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley.
That likely means Darroll Powe moves up to play with Nick Johnson and Kyle Brodziak, and Colton Gillies gets back into the lineup. But Yeo did throw out the possibility that the team could dress all seven defensemen tonight. We will see.
Yeo said Devin Setoguchi’s lower body injury does not appear to be overly serious. Setoguchi won’t be in the lineup tonight, and Yeo thinks he’ll likely miss at least the next week.
Back home in Minnesota, Guillaume Latendresse and Marek Zidlicky have both been skating. Yeo did not rule them out of practicing at Xcel Energy Center on Monday prior to the team leaving for Winnipeg. They’re at the point now where they need to be worked into game shape.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s video footage of yesterday’s practice shootout in San Jose, in which players had to drop a piece of equipment for every miss. Sorry, but the tape ran out before too much equipment was shed.