After landing very early on Friday morning, the Avalanche opted to skip on-ice activities for the day. The team instead did workouts at the hotel, save for a few that journeyed to Xcel Energy Center to skate. After that it was downtime for all in chilly Minnesota.
Now, it's morning skate time at the home of the Wild. Everyone is out on the ice to warm up, get loose and feel out the puck ahead of tonight's game in St. Paul.
The slices of blades through ice, a solid carve as players start and stop and turn and chew up the frozen mass, as well as the slaps of sticks, thuds of pucks and pings of posts ring out through the air. It's the sound of hockey and there is nothing better.
Every now and then cheers erupt from those in the session, reactions to a nice goal reverberating around the empty bowl of the rink.
There will be a short media availability following the session and then lunch.
Read more from Saturday's morning skate here.
5:32 p.m. CT
Lunch at the hotel was as exciting as eating sounds, and after shoveling down some grub, everyone dispersed for pregame rituals in the hotel.
The team took two busses to the rink this evening and players are now going through pregame meetings with the coaching staff. Warmup is just under an hour away, so it's game planning, stretching and plyometrics and jogging before the preparatory ice time. Some guys have already cut and sanded down their sticks, tuning their equipment to intense internal specifications prior to the match.
That kind of activity will continue at the conclusion of the meetings.
Head coach Patrick Roy said earlier today that there will be no changes to the lineup. He sees the coming home-and-home set against Minnesota as a big point in the season for his squad.
"What I like is it's an opportunity to get closer to them in the standings, but at the same time, they're good games," he said. "I think it's healthy for hockey. It builds up, and I think teams enjoy those games."
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. CT.