The Minnesota Wild took the ice at Xcel Energy Center this morning before giving way to the Holy Angels and Burnsville high school boys’ hockey teams. The Stars and Blaze are kicking off the Schwan Cup tournament, which features some of the best teams in the state.
Jared Spurgeon did not practice with the Wild today due to an injury suffered from a hit from behind by Colorado’s Cody McLeod. Head Coach Mike Yeo did not have much of an update following practice, saying Spurgeon was set to see a doctor later today. The injury is to his “lower half” and it will keep him out of tomorrow’s game in Nashville at the very minimum.
Spurgeon is one of four Wild players – Dany Heatley, Kyle Brodziak and Nick Schultz – that has played all 37 games so far this season.
Thus far, there hasn’t been any word on a suspension for McLeod. Yeo wouldn’t comment on what punishment McLeod deserves, but he did reiterate that he felt the hit was “dirty.”
The Wild will call up winger Jon DiSalvatore and defenseman Nate Prosser from Houston and they will meet the team in Nashville. Their arrival gives the team an extra forward and an extra defenseman, but it seems likely that Greg Zanon will return to the lineup tomorrow night against his former team. The team also placed Clayton Stoner on injured reserve with a lower body injury.
If DiSalvatore gets into the lineup, he’d be the 35th player to suit up for the Wild this season. He leads the Aeros in scoring with 26 points (10-16=26) through 32 games. He also led the team in scoring last year, tallying 61 points (28-33=61) in 80 games, and adding seven goals during Houston’s run to the Calder Cup Finals.
It was a good start for Wild prospects at the World Junior Championships, which kicked off yesterday. Charlie Coyle posted a hat trick and Jason Zucker chipped in a goal and two assists as the U.S. rolled over Denmark, 11-3.
Team Sweden also had an easy time in disposing of Latvia, 9-4. Johan Larsson had a goal and Jonas Brodin picked up two assists. Johan Gustaffson earned the win in goal by stopping nine of 13 shots.
Mikael Granlund was the only Wild prospect kept off the score sheet yesterday as Finland lost to Canada, 8-1.
All three teams will have today off before resuming action tomorrow. Team USA will face Finland, while Sweden takes on Switzerland.