Missing from today’s Wild practice was Cal Clutterbuck. The feisty winger suffered a lower-body injury on Saturday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Yeo said that he is day-to-day, but unlikely for tomorrow’s game against the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center.
With Clutterbuck out and Clayton Stoner on injured reserve, today’s Wild practice featured two call-ups from Houston, Minnesota’s American Hockey League affiliate, one familiar and one new.
Marco Scandella started the season with the Wild, scoring three goals and adding three assists while appearing in 37 games. According to Head Coach Mike Yeo, Scandella will return to the Wild lineup tomorrow night against the Ducks if Clutterbuck is out. After getting off to a good start with the Wild, Scandella spent a month in Houston for development and to regain his early-season confidence.
While in Houston, Scandella missed about a week while after blocking a shot with his foot, but is feeling 100 percent and said it won’t affect his play. Yeo said that the team is looking for some offensive contributions from the blue line and Scandella can help with that.
Kris Foucault is a name that Wild fans might not be as familiar with. He is in his first season of pro hockey and this marks the first time he’s been recalled by Minnesota. Yeo said that he was called up because he has the potential to contribute to the Wild’s offense. In 47 games in Houston, Foucault has 10 goals and 13 assists. The 21-year-old skated on the second power play unit at today’s practice and Yeo said is likely for tomorrow’s game against Anaheim. If he is in the lineup, he will sport number 72 and be the 39th player to suit up for the Wild this season.
Maybe the nerves of joining the big club got to the rookies because in today’s shootout they were the last two players dueling to score. However, before the shootout ended, they traded a couple of pretty slick goals, with Scandella eventually losing.
Of course, there is the possibility it wasn’t nerves at all, but that they both wanted the ‘winners’ prize. Mikko Koivu has a few friends visiting from Finland and they brought a life-size cardboard cutout of the Wild Captain sporting a fashionable gray sweater and a Blue Steel gaze that would make Zoolander jealous (if you follow @styleswild, Minnesota Wild Head Equipment Manager Tony Da Costa’s Twitter feed, there may or may not be a twitpic of it). Before the shootout started, Yeo said the winner gets to take the cutout home, just in time for Valentine’s Day.