Tag Archives: Antti Miettinen

Miettinen Being Checked For Concussion

The big news out of Wild practice today was the fact that Antti Miettinen missed another practice, and now Head Coach Todd Richards said he’s being checked out for a concussion. Miettinen took a hit to the head from Dustin Brown on Monday night. He skated the next day, but complained of a headache. The initial thought was that it could have been an ear ache, but he also had some blurry vision and doctors later thought he had symptoms of a concussion.

Richards called Brown’s hit dirty because “it was a blind side hit” and because Miettinen was following through and was unprotected. Brown was ejected from the game but did not face any further suspension from the NHL.

The only other player that didn’t skate today was Guillaume Latendresse, who is dealing with a groin injury. Cam Barker was back on the ice, and appears ready to go. However, Richards said he won’t decide until tomorrow whether or not to play Barker and take out Clayton Stoner, who has played very well the last two games.

If you’re a fan of beards, tomorrow will be your last chance to see a lot of them. On Monday, guys are going to be looking pretty baby-faced as Movember begins and the mustaches start growing. Greg Zanon, Brent Burns and Cal Clutterbuck might need a hedge trimmer to get down to the skin.

Clutter had some good one-liners today about his mustache, and he claims to have not shaved since Finland. That’s three weeks ago, if you’re keeping track.

Finland Day One

The Minnesota Wild and crew have arrived in Finland at last, clad in their green and black team sweat suits. I love the sweatsuit idea. It reminds me of a youth hockey team playing in an out of town tournament in “the Cities.” I fully expect to see a knee hockey game breakout in the hotel hallways and chicken fights in the pool tonight.

It was touch and go for awhile last night when the plane’s engine was in need of repair. Anytime that happens, the blame can only be placed squarely on the team’s media relations folks, who in this case would be Ryan Stanzel (formerly of the Wild.com R.S.S. feed) and Aaron Sickman.

Not to worry, Stanzel was quick on his feet and knew that Finland is famous for cruise ships, so he made a couple calls to “his people.” Soon after, we were on a bus bound for Duluth, where we boarded a luxury ferry and methodically made our way through the chain of Great Lakes, out the St. Lawrence seaway across “the pond,” through the frigid waters of the North Sea and safely into the Helsinki harbor of the Baltic Sea. At least that’s what I think happened. I slept most of the way.

By my count, we only lost a couple hours in the process, so the only problem was that the press conference welcoming the Wild was delayed a bit (again, this falls on the media relations guys).

The press conference was held in the Helsinki airport with Nik Backstrom, Mikko Koivu, Antti Miettinen, Todd Richards and Chuck Fletcher as the featured speakers. The rest of the team went straight to the hotel, which is a shame because they missed a lovely media gathering.

Fletcher and Richards answered their questions in English, but Koivu, Miettinen and Backstrom spoke mostly Finnish (except Backstrom, who even threw a little Swedish out there just to impress everybody).

Upon arrival at the hotel near downtown Helsinki, the players got settled and strapped on the feedbag in the hotel buffet. Then, strength and conditioning coach took the entire team on a 30-minute walk around town “to get the legs going a little bit.” That will be the extent of the workout today, but the team will be back on the ice tomorrow for its practice of the trip.

Some say Minnesota and Finland are very similar, but in just a couple hours here, I’ve noticed one major difference. Their VH1 channel plays music videos. Where is Flavor of Love 4?

That about does it for today’s action. It’s time for me to hit the wrapper because I haven’t adjusted to the time change yet. It’s actually a week later here, but don’t worry, the Twins are up two-games-to-none on the Yankees and the Americans beat the Euros in the Ryder Cup!

Green Rallies To Even Training Camp Series

Now I know what the Star Tribune’s Mike Russo (the most intense beat writer in the NHL) deals with on Wild game nights when he has his “gamer” written midway through the second when one team has built a healthy lead. Then, he has to watch in horror as the other team stages a furious rally, and he is forced to start over from scratch.

That was me today as I was watching Scrimmage #2 of the 2010 Wild Training Camp. I was all set to write about how the Whities going to walk away with a 2-1 victory over the Greenies, thanks to two John Madden goals to one Robbie Earl goal. I even had a quip in there about how Robbie Earl was the only guy in a green jersey that has scored in this training camp.

Then, with 13 seconds left in the scrimmage and Josh Tordjman pulled for an extra attacker, Cody Almond struck and tied the game at 2-2. The Green bench went crazy, while the White bench was deflated, and angry.

“The net was off,” said White’s Mikko Koivu in the locker room. “Make sure you write that.”

Green took advantage in a four-round shootout when Tordjman and Darcy Kuemper were shutting the door. There was one game of NHL experience between those two (Tordjman has played one game with Phoenix), but they were shutting down the likes of Koivu, Brent Burns, Martin Havlat, Matt Cullen, Jared Spurgeon and Madden. Finally, Guillaume Latendresse gave Team Green the victory by roofing one past Kuemper.

So, to summarize, Team Green won on a nice goal by Earl, and a nice finish by Almond off a rush from Burns. It was thought that Madden had both White goals, but he apparently thought Cal Clutterbuck got the first one, coming during a scramble in front.

“We got the loss today, but we gained a valuable point,” joked Madden.

As for lines, Antti Miettinen was once again with Koivu and Andrew Brunette. Madden centered Clutterbuck and Chuck Kobasew. Cullen was with Latendresse and Havlat. Kyle Brodziak was with Eric Nystrom and Brad Staubitz. Warren Peters centered Casey Wellman and Colton Gillies. Almond centered Earl and Jarod Palmer/Jean-Michel Daoust.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard did not participate, and neither did Marek Zidlicky. Zid did take the ice for a practice session after the scrimmage.

There was definitely intensity out there once again. Earl got into it with Jamie Fraser along the boards. Clayton Stoner clobbered Peters with a hit in the corner, and later in the shift, Peters delivered a big hit on Stoner, who responded with a slash. At one point, Koivu slapped Burns’ stick about 100 feet into the air.

Todd Richards raved about the depth of his team, and the way younger guys like Wellman, Stoner, Prosser and Earl have played. He also said the true test will be in preseason games, which start Wednesday. Just because it’s the first game of preseason, you can expect a healthy amount of the “big guys” getting ice time. Richards doesn’t want to waste time in getting guys used to each other, and he’s going to give the home crowd more fan favorites to watch. Expect less regulars in the lineup on Friday in St. Louis.

USA in the World Championships

It seems safe to say that Team USA’s success in the Olympics did not exactly propel them in this year’s World Championships like we might have hoped.

Today, Team USA dropped another 2-1 overtime decision to Denmark. Now, you might scoff at the notion of losing to Denmark until you realize that they are led by today’s overtime hero, Stefan Lessan, who has a Facebook page. And you didn’t think there were any hockey superstars on Facebook. That’ll learn ya.

Team Finland also struggled with Denmark over the weekend, losing 4-1 on Saturday. But that is most likely due to Antti Miettinen not playing for an unspecified reason. He was in the lineup today, however, which helped Finland beat Germany, 1-0.

So it’s been a tough go for U.S. Assistant Coach Todd Richards and the other Minnesotans on the team. Things have gone slightly better for one of the other Wild reps at the tournament. Brent Burns tallied an assist in Canada’s 5-1 win over Italy over the weekend. Burns saw 18:12 worth of ice time in that game. Burns picked up another assist today as Canada took down Latvia, 6-1.

Finally, any true Wild fan remembers shootout whiz and smurf look-a-like, Petteri Nummelin. Well, here’s a little trivia about good ‘ol Petts. With his appearance in the game against Denmark, he made history by becoming the first player to have played in 15 top division World Championships, passing such legends as Jiri Holik and Sven Tumba (Johansson). Petteri’s father, Timo, was a Team Finland regular in the 1970’s and early 1980’s and played in eight World Championships with Team Finland.

Timo also won the soccer juggling contest among Wild players prior to a game in Anaheim during the first-ever father-son road trip in 2006.