All Minnesota Wild players were at Jobing.com Arena, but a little more than half of the players took the ice for an optional skate today. One of those was Cal Clutterbuck, who skated on his own and then stayed out there for drills.
When asked how he felt when he was walking off, Clutterbuck replied, “Good. Great. Wonderful.” He may or may not have been serious.
Josh Harding has been sent back to the Twin Cities so he can see a doctor. Mike Yeo said it’s not serious, but he needs to see a doctor, and if he stays with the team he won’t be back until Sunday and the team leaves for Winnipeg on Monday.
Other than that, everybody is relatively healthy.
Kyle Brodziak will not face any further discipline from the League following what looked like a clean shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Anze Kopitar. Kopitar fell awkwardly and laid on the ice for an extended period, but he did play on the ensuing power play.
Prior to today’s skate, the Wild players caught up with Elite Leadership Training’s J.B. Spisso, the Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Rangers. Spisso addressed the team on several subjects but made particular note on how this Wild team has a common opponent, and nobody cares who gets the credit.
He also raved about the team’s focus and fitness level. He would know, since he does more pushups than most of us take steps each day.
Head Coach Mike Yeo talked at length today about players fulfilling their roles. Darroll Powe and Nick Johnson both came up, and he raved about their play on the puck and their ability to do everything that is needed.
At the beginning of this season, Powe was spending a lot of time on the fourth line, and Johnson was a healthy scratch. Last night, Powe notched a goal and an assist and was a career-high +3. Johnson picked up a pair of assists, including on Powe’s goal which was the typical relentless pressure deep in the zone and buzzing the crease.