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
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:
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.