Gilbert Back In Edmonton; Koivu Back On Ice

The Wild flew into a balmy 22-degree day in Edmonton, Alberta and skated for about an hour at Rexall Place, home of the Oilers. Thanks to the lockout and an oddity in scheduling, it’s been well over a year since the Wild has been in Edmonton, as the last time the two teams met on the Oilers home ice was Nov. 30.

Today skate marks the first time defenseman Tom Gilbert has been on the ice in Edmonton since the Wild acquired him at the trade deadline for long-time Minnesota blueliner Nick Schultz. Gilbert spoke to WildTV after practice about what it was like to be traded and coming back to Edmonton.

Updated: Gilbert on WildTV

Koivu on WildTV

Yeo on WildTV

Wild Captain Mikko Koivu was back on the ice after missing yesterday’s practice with an illness, and looked lively, banging his stick on the glass to wake up assistant equipment manager Rick Bronwell.

After completing a few flow drills and odd-man rushes to warm up, the team went right into power play practice.

The top unit of Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and the points run by Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon remained unchanged.

The second unit was a little different, continually shifting throughout the in-zone reps, and looked like the team was rotating through two groups. One unit was comprised of Devin Setoguchi, Matt Cullen and Mikael Granlund up front, while Tom Gilbert and Pierre-Marc Bouchard ran the points. At forwards on the other set were Bouchard, Setoguchi and Jason Zucker, while Gilbert and Cullen manned the point.

After practice, Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said that the guys were feeling better, but will wait till tomorrow before declaring who would be in the lineup. Here is what the line rushes looked like, with Bouchard and Johan Larsson swapping spots on the third line and Granlund and Zenon Konopka trading on and off on the fourth:

Heatley – Koivu – Parise

Zucker – Cullen – Setoguchi

Clutter-Brodziak-Larsson – Bouchard

Konopka – Mitchell – Rupp – Granlund

The D-pairs looked the same as Sunday, with Justin Falk rotating in with Spurgeon and Nate Prosser:

Suter-Brodin

Gilbert-Stoner

Prosser-Falk-Spurgeon

The Wild ended the ice session with skill drills and shootout practice. It looked like the shooters who you’d normally see in a game situation were getting a little extra work. Koivu talked to WildTV about working on shootout moves and that video will be posted shortly.

2 responses to “Gilbert Back In Edmonton; Koivu Back On Ice

  1. I dont understand. Right when Granlund has been playing more physical and really producing, they move him down the the 4th line and drop his minutes…. Cully is a decent 2 way player, but we need offense. I know it would be tough having 2 rookies on the same line. But having a lot of young players play and grow together isn’t really a bad thing. Hopefully Edmonton doesn’t accentuate that point tomorrow…

  2. I think Granlund was playing his best hockey in the last three games and I think we proved (FO% 78, 0 +3, + – 0 He has better statistics in these matches, as Cullen (FO 52.6%, 0 +1, + – 0). He very dangerous when he is given a little bit of space. previous game, he passes three dangerous scoring chances despite playing only eight minutes. I think he really deserved a seat in the second-line center. he played the best match against Vancouver and Colorado, but then his icetime was dropped and moved to the fourth line. (I believe that was due to Zucker. I think he is already a big part of the team.) MG showed that it had a lot of confidence in those games, and it showed up on the ground when he won the fights at the corners and face-offs. I think that many would like to see him playing on the same line with Zucker. least I do. Houston, they had a good chemistry. hopefully it still happens.

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