The Wild has activated Devin Setoguchi (lower body) and Casey Wellman (upper body) from Injured Reserve and reassigned forward Matt Kassian to Houston of the American Hockey League.
Yesterday, Setoguchi said there is “definitely a good chance” he’ll play in Vancouver. Here is a video of Setoguchi from today’s practice. His speed, skill and locker room presence has been missed for the month he has been out.
“He brings that fire and he’s got a good attitude,” forward Matt Cullen said. “He brings a lot of offensive ability,”
Wellman took turns skating on a four-forward rotation with Warren Peters, Brad Staubitz and Colton Gillies.
Head Coach Mike Yeo didn’t say if either player will be in the lineup tomorrow in Vancouver but said “there’s a good chance we could have guys returning to the lineup tomorrow.”
With both players coming off of the IR, one can speculate they will both be in the lineup on Wednesday.
Still on the IR is Clayton Stoner, who rejoined the Wild at practice yesterday. He will make the trip to Vancouver, bringing the total of Minnesota blue liners traveling to Canada to nine. With so many healthy bodies at the blue line, the Wild likely will wait until Stoner is 100 percent before bringing him off of the IR. Still missing from practice are Jarod Palmer (upper body) and Guillaume Latendresse (concussion).
Today’s practice was used for offensive and defensive zone system work, and to hone in on the details that made the Wild successful earlier in the season.
“System-wise we were in good position and had pretty good focus on a couple of the areas we’ve concentrated on the last couple of days,” Yeo said. “Definitely like to see us carry that into tomorrow.”
The Wild leaves for Vancouver today and will have the opportunity to pull within a point of the Northwest Division-leading Canucks on Wednesday. The Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks game will be televised on FOX Sports North PLUS beginning at 8:30 p.m. with Wild Live presented by Century Link. Satellite subscribers can find the game on DirecTV: 675 (SD), 675-1 (HD) or Dish: 422 (SD), 9580 (HD). The FOX Sports North PLUS channel guide can be found here.
The team will then head to Calgary and face the Flames on Saturday, but will bus to Banff for a day of practice and, word has it, some curling.
Already in Calgary is Wild.com Managing Editor Glen Andresen. He is covering the IIHF World Junior Championship. Today, Wild prospects Jonas Brodin, Johan Larsson and Johan Gustafsson (Team Sweden) and Mikael Granlund (Team Finland) will faceoff in the first semifinal game at 4 p.m. Follow the action with Andresen’s Live Chat on Wild.com here.