The Minnesota Wild was back on the ice for practice at Xcel Energy Center after observing President’s Day yesterday.
A flu bug has been floating through the Wild locker room, as Mikko Koivu was feeling sick and held out of today’s practice. Even missing today, it would take plague-like symptoms for the captain not to be on the plane tomorrow for the Wild’s upcoming two-game road trip.
The team won’t practice in Minnesota tomorrow morning, instead flying to Edmonton for an afternoon skate. Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo told the media he’d wait to see who is feeling healthy as far as the lineup is concerned. That includes decisions regarding recent call-ups, Johan Larsson and Jason Zucker.
Last week, Niklas Backstrom, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Justin Falk missed time due to illness, but all three were both back on the ice today. Falk spoke to the PONDcast about how the team was feeling and you could hear audible coughs from teammates in the background.
Here’s a rough sketch of what the lines looked like, as Mikael Granlund was moved up between Zach Parise and Dany Heatley, and Bouchard was rotating with Larsson on the third line:
The D-pairs also rotated with seven defensemen:
The practice lasted a little over an hour, and the intensity picked up after Yeo fired into them about finishing off the forecheck. Yeo spoke about keeping the players focused on the details and playing with a purpose.
The practice ended with a short bag skate for some conditioning, something that the team hasn’t had a chance to do since training camp thanks to a condensed schedule.
Happy birthday goes out to Clayton Stoner, who turned 28 today.
The National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced Devin Setoguchi was fined for high-sticking Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey on Sunday. As a first time offender, the double minor for high sticking didn’t warrant a suspension from the League. Setoguchi spoke to the PONDcast about the play.