The beauty of the NHL regular season is after a bad game, teams usually get a chance to put it behind them, immediately.
We all know what happened in last night’s 5-4 loss against the Nashville Predators at Xcel Energy Center. Well, the Wild gets a chance to bury last night’s loss tomorrow night against the Avalanche.
Head Coach Mike Yeo knows the importance of bouncing back and – after an up-tempo practice this morning – he talked about not dwelling on losses.
“Not trying to get it out of our heads,” Yeo said. “We have to get it out of our heads.”
“We’re still in eight place today and we still have a huge game tomorrow.”
The Wild is one point ahead of the Avs in the standings, and have had a great deal of success, going 9-1-2 in Colorado, in its last 12 games.
The Wild’s record in Colorado isn’t the only thing that Wild fans can be optimistic about. Making the trip will be Captain Mikko Koivu. Yeo said “he’s getting close” to coming back. Koivu is unlikely to make his return against Colorado, however, Yeo didn’t confirm nor deny an appearance in Saturday’s game at Dallas.
If Koivu is feeling any ill effects from his upper body injury, his wrist shot didn’t show it at today’s practice.
After snapping a bullet off of the cross bar and in, Koivu skated back to line and Matt Kassian wanted to congratulate the center with a high-five. Kassian positioned himself next to Koivu, huge mitt raised in the air, and the Wild captain ignored Kassian like he was on the Oblivious Cam before games at Xcel Energy Center.
It’s unlikely that Koivu was ignoring Kassian intentionally; my guess is that he was just so focused during today’s practice that he didn’t see the 6’4” 232 pound wing standing feet from him, and that’s a good sign.
Koivu didn’t leave Kassian hanging and eventually tapped his glove with the blade of his stick. Kassian knows patience is rewarded.
After practicing for two-straight days, Guillaume Latendresse was absent from today’s practice. He took a slight step back in his return from a concussion that has held him out of the lineup for 18 games, and the team will re-evaluate how he is feeling tomorrow.