Post-Christmas Hockey Time

Christmas may be over, but the gifts about here in Wild land, and beyond. We’ll get to the beyond stuff later.

Most importantly, the team’s captain, Mikko Koivu, is getting back into the lineup tonight as the Wild faces the Colorado Avalanche at 5:00 p.m. Just a reminder to those watching on their new flat screen TV’s that today’s game will be shown on Fox Sports North PLUS, and if you’re wondering how to find that, I strongly suggest you click here.

The rest of the Wild’s injured players – Guillaume Latendresse (concussion), Devin Setoguchi (lower body), Clayton Stoner (lower body) and Casey Wellman (upper body) – will stay out of the lineup tonight as none skated with the team today.

Something to keep an eye on tonight will be Fridley’s Jarod Palmer skating on a line with Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Palmer has been impressive thus far since his call up and now he’ll get a chance to play with some creators on that second line. Cal Clutterbuck will join Koivu and Dany Heatley on the top line.

Colton Gillies will also get back into the lineup after being scratched the last two games. Take a morning skate for what it’s worth, but Gillies was ripping shots today and put a couple in that he wired off the cross bar. I think we’ll see a strong game from “Man Body”

Niklas Backstrom will get the start in goal for the Wild tonight against a team he’s posted an 18-4-2 record against.

As for the “beyond” stuff, the World Junior Championships start today. Mikael Granlund, his brother Markus, and the rest of Team Finland will get it started against the tournament hosts, Canada. That will be followed by Sweden and it’s “Wild Trio” of Jonas Brodin, Johan Gustafsson and Johan Larsson taking on Latvia. Charlie Coyle, Jason Zucker and Team USA will battle it out with Denmark tonight at 7:00 p.m.

As many of you know, when you’re looking for something on the Internet, one thing can lead to another and soon enough, you’re looking at something completely unrelated to what you started with. Well, that happened to me today as I was doing some research for the World Junior Updates page on

I won’t tell you how I got to these videos, but I came across some cool YouTube clips of fans in California watching the 2010 Olympic gold medal game between USA and Canada. The clips show fans in bars reacting to Zach Parise’s tying goal in the final minute to force overtime. It’s not quite as cool as the worldwide reaction to Landon Donovan’s goal, but only because Canada eventually won. Still, it’s chilling.

But the Olympics only happen every four years. Thankfully the World Juniors occurs every year, and here is the footage from the greatest moment in Team USA history at the World Juniors.

If you’ve never watched the World Juniors, make sure you do this year. It is amazing hockey.



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