After a 34-save performance last night in a 5-4 shootout win over San Jose, Josh Harding complained of not feeling well. He wasn’t feeling any better today and sat out the Wild’s practice before the team took off for Chicago.
Harding was not on the team charter, but according to team pr lackey Ryan Stanzel, Harding is expected to join the team later tonight in Chicago. Even so, the Wild is expected to call up Matt Hackett from Houston as a precaution. Hackett is 2-0-0 in his NHL career after posting back-to-back road wins for the Wild back on December 6 and 8. In Houston, he’s currently 13-6-3 with a 2.29 goals against average and a .922 save percentage.
In other injury news, Colton Gillies was on the ice during practice, but was feeling the effect of a lower body injury he suffered last night. He left practice early, and it appears he’ll likely be held of tomorrow’s game. The Wild won’t have to call up a forward with Devin Setoguchi ready to return to the lineup after sitting out last night’s game due to a violation of team rules.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard addressed the media today about his concussion symptoms. He did say the problems started with the check from behind by Zach Bogosian in Winnipeg on December 13. After sitting out two games, he felt good enough to play, but an accidental elbow at the end of last Wednesday’s Vancouver game brought the symptoms back.
Bouchard said the symptoms aren’t as bad as they were when he missed almost an entire year due to a concussion. Back then, he said he had trouble doing anything like driving or watching TV. This time, “I’m able to do those things. It’s pretty much right now just headaches and pressure that I’m going through,” he said.”
“I’ve been through it,” he added. “I know my body. I know my symptoms right now. So hopefully I can heal quicker than last time.”
When asked if there is something that can be done to limit the alarming amount of concussions in the NHL, Bouchard mostly said it was on players to make that happen.
“I think the League is trying right now to be a little bit more strict about it with bigger suspensions,” he said. “At the end of the day, the players have to start – I mean, there’s some accidents out there that are going to happen – but there are some cheapshots and headshots that have been given. At the end of the day, I think guys have to be a bit more smart about it.”