Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
SHARE
Posted On Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 2:39 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Wild's Harding practices with team

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding practiced with the team prior to the game against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Harding has been out for two weeks due to illness.

Harding and the Wild have refused divulge whether his illness is related to his multiple sclerosis. He missed four games in December as doctors adjusted his medication for the disease.

"Wasn't feeling good, obviously," Harding said. "If I felt even a little bit like I could play, I would have. But there are some things that are out of my control."

Harding said he's been skating on his own for "three or four" days now, but Tuesday was seen as a major step toward getting him back in the lineup soon. Entering play Tuesday his 1.65 goals-against average is the best in the NHL and his .933 save percentage is second-best.

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 01.11.2014 / 2:00 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Wild captain Koivu discusses injury

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Walking on crutches after undergoing surgery on Monday to repair his fractured ankle, Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu addressed the media for the first time since the injury.

Koivu was placed on injured reserve following the procedure, which Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said should expedite Koivu's recovery time. It is expected he will miss about four weeks.

Koivu was struck in the foot during the second period of the Wild's 5-3 win against the Washington Capitals seven days ago. He left the bench for a portion of the game but returned and actually assisted on two Ryan Suter goals a few minutes later. Koivu played a couple more shifts in the third period, but Wild coach Mike Yeo sent him back to the dressing room after seeing his captain in visible pain on the bench.

"I think every hockey player has [been hit by] a puck in the foot," Koivu said. "Obviously, the pain is not fun, but usually it goes away if you keep playing and keep the skate on. When I kind of realized it was worse than I thought, the pain got worse and worse. That's when I realized it was probably more than a bruise."

Koivu leads the Wild with 27 assists and 35 points this season and is also a valued member of the team's power play and penalty kill units. He ranks fourth among NHL forwards in ice time, averaging 21:34 a night, and his 55.7 winning percentage in the faceoff circle is one of the best in the League.

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 2:03 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Wild lose Spurgeon, still without Harding

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild will be without defenseman Jared Spurgeon for the foreseeable future after the team put him on injured reserve with a lower-body injury Saturday before the final game of a four-game homestand against the Washington Capitals.

Spurgeon, who elevated to the Wild’s top pairing with Ryan Suter earlier this week, was hurt while blocking a shot in a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. He never missed a shift during the game but did not practice Friday, elevating concerns that he could be hurt.

With Spurgeon out, Wild coach Mike Yeo will reunite the pairing of Suter and Jonas Brodin, who have played together for much of the past two seasons. Nate Prosser will step into Spurgeon’s old role next to Marco Scandella on Minnesota’s second pairing. Prosser has two assists in 17 games this season but will add some size and grit.

"It’s a great opportunity for [Prosser]," Yeo said. In the past, he’s shown the kind of stability and defensive game that we need to go against top lines."

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 2:16 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Wild place Konopka on waivers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- With goaltender Josh Harding under the weather and the Minnesota Wild in need of a roster spot for an extra goalie, the Wild placed forward Zenon Konopka on waivers Thursday prior to the team's game against the Buffalo Sabres.

A gritty fourth-liner who excels in the faceoff circle, Konopka has one goal and one assist in 36 games. He's in the final season of a two-year contract and is making $925,000 this season.

Konopka leads the Wild with 55 penalty minutes and his 65.7-percent faceoff success rate is the best in the NHL among players to take at least 200 faceoffs.

Should Konopka clear waivers, the Wild would have the option of assigning him to the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Iowa Wild. Coach Mike Yeo said he hasn't thought that far ahead, however.

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 1:08 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blues' Backes improving, but won't face Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- St. Louis Blues captain David Backes will miss his second consecutive game Tuesday when the Blues play the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

A native of Minneapolis who played college hockey 90 minutes south of the Twin Cities at Minnesota State, Backes missed two games earlier this month with a concussion. He was injured Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks, missing a portion of the third period in a game the Blues won 5-4 in a shootout. The two injuries are not believed to be related.

Backes will miss his fourth game of the season Tuesday after missing only three games in his previous six seasons. He skated at the Blues' practice Monday and again Tuesday during their morning skate, but coach Ken Hitchcock said he will give him more time.

"Not going to play tonight, not ready to go," Hitchcock said. "He's feeling better and better, but he's not able to play. We're just not prepared to risk it right now."


Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 1:47 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders, Wild greet familiar faces

ST. PAUL, Minn.Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter and New York Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck will each get a crack at his former team for the first time Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild sent a third-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft (No. 70) and Clutterbuck to New York in a trade for Niederreiter during the draft this summer.

Clutterbuck, a fan favorite in Minnesota, was routinely among the NHL leaders in hits during his time with the Wild, racking up 1,457 of them and scoring 110 points in six seasons. He has four goals and two assists in 33 games with New York and his 120 hits are No. 11 in the League, despite the fact he missed six games with an injury.

“All of our players are well aware of what he can bring,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “He does very well, even when he’s not hitting on the ice. Even when that’s not a threat, the players on the ice think it’s a threat. We’ve got to be ready to execute, but certainly you have to make sure you have your head up.”

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 1:31 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canucks' Luongo hoping for Xcel exorcism vs. Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- In his first career start against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center in 2000,Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo, then a member of the Florida Panthers, backstopped his team to a 0-0 tie.

But to say it's been a struggle for him in this building since would be an understatement. His career numbers at the X: 3-9-2 with a 3.92 goals-against average and a .873 save percentage (those numbers include the 0-0 tie). Luongo has been pulled in each of his past three starts here. It got so bad over the final years with Alain Vigneault behind the bench that he refused to start Luongo in St. Paul.

But with a new coach comes new confidence as Luongo will face the Wild in Minnesota on Tuesday for the first time since Oct. 19, 2010.

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Monday, 12.16.2013 / 8:55 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - USA Selection Camp Blog

Lucia, Motzko working together again

MINNEAPOLIS -- As the United States gathers this week at Mariucci Arena for its World Junior Championships Selection Camp, it will bring together players from all backgrounds and locations from around the country.

It will also bring together longtime friends on the bench, where head coach Don Lucia and assistant coach Bob Motzko will be on the same staff for the first time since 2005. Motzko worked under Lucia at the University of Minnesota for four seasons and the two captured national championships in 2002 and 2003. The 2002 title was Minnesota's first since the Herb Brooks-led 1979 team.

"It's good to be back, working around Don again," Motzko said. "It must mean he liked me when we worked together if he wanted me to come back with him.

"It was a big thing for Don and his career to coach this team, we call it a 'Bucket List' thing. For him to ask me, I was honored and I feel very privileged to do it."


Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Monday, 12.16.2013 / 8:13 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - USA Selection Camp Blog

Samuelsson aims to show he belongs on U.S. roster

MINNEAPOLIS -- Without players like Johnny Gaudreau, Alex Galchenyuk and J.T. Miller leading the way offensively for the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championships this year, it will be up to a number of players to help pick up the scoring slack if the U.S. is going to repeat as champions for the first time.

Top-end offensive talent is not expected to be a hallmark of this year' team, but there are players at this week's U.S. selection camp with a scoring pedigree.

One such player is forward Henrik Samuelsson, a 2012 first round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes and current Edmonton Oil King of the Western Hockey League. With 29 players currently on the preliminary roster, a number expected to decrease by as many as five or six players after an exhibition game Tuesday at Minnesota State, Samuelsson said he needs to show U.S. coach Don Lucia and general manager Jim Johannson that he can be counted on to help lead the way offensively.

"I can score goals, I can make plays and my defensive game has gotten a lot better," Samuelsson said. "I can score big goals too."


Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Sunday, 12.15.2013 / 10:30 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - USA Selection Camp Blog

Zach Stepan healthy, ready for camp

MINNEAPOLIS -- Zach Stepan, who is at the United States National Junior Team selection camp this week, is fully healthy for the camp that got underway Sunday evening at Mariucci Arena.

Stepan, a freshman at Minnesota State University, was injured in Game 2 of a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series Saturday against the University of Alabama-Huntsville in Huntsville, Ala.

With the Mavericks leading 2-1 late in the third period, Stepan was hit high and from behind into the boards behind the UAH net. Stepan lay on the ice for several moments before being brought back to the locker room.

Stepan did not return to the bench over the final minutes, a move he said was precautionary.

"I'm fine," Stepan said. "They just wanted to make sure everything was intact, and it was, so we're good to go."


Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
First | Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7-12 | Next | Last
Quote of the Day

I just wanted to do something to take my mind off the shot and let me relax a little bit. It seemed like the fans liked it. I'm glad I was able to score.

— Oilers forward Taylor Hall on lifting his arms to fire up the crowd before his penalty shot
Winter Classic sweepstakes