After a couple of weeks skating at Braemar Arena, the Minnesota Wild clicked the heels of its ruby slippers and returned home to Xcel Energy Center today for an informal captains’ practice.
With Wild Training Camp, presented by Andersen Windows, opening on Friday, the club skated in a split session today. After a first half of flow drills and in-zone two-on-two and three-on-three play, the Zamboni cleared the ice for a dominating performance from a familiar line.
Wearing green, the trio of Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Mikael Granlund looked like it hadn’t taken any time off, scoring several goals on pretty plays during the scrimmage. Sure, there was limited contact and guys are still shaking the summer rust off, but it was a joy to watch the three working together.
The Lighthouse saw four goals from the line (we might’ve been texting and missed one) all coming from transition and rushes.
Pominville was on the receiving end of a Parise entry pass, and redirected the puck on grey goaltender, John Curry. The netminder made the initial save, but Pominville stopped in front of the net, pulled the puck out of Curry’s pads and popped a backhander in.
A few minutes later, Granlund skated the puck deep into grey’s zone and whipped a no-look pass to Pominville in the high slot. The wing coasted between the hash marks and moved the puck to Parise on the backdoor. Money.
Pominville picked up his second of the scrimmage, one-timing home a pass from Parise, who was stationed behind the net.
The line closed out the game, this time Granlund finishing the play. Initially, Granlund set up Parise for an open one-timer, but Curry made a diving glove save sliding right to left. The wing stayed with the action, passing to Pominville who found Granlund open for a chip shot over Curry.
“They couldn’t contain us today out there, I guess,” Parise laughed. “We found ourselves in a couple of mismatches today against Haula’s line.
“It was pretty easy actually.”
Of course, Haula had the misfortune of walking by when the Lighthouse was talking to the Wild assistant captain, so he was the target of the ribbing. Wild fans hope that the ribbing will proceed through Training Camp and into Opening Night against the Colorado Avalanche on Oct. 9.
View a photo gallery of today's practice, here.
WildTV also spoke to Kyle Brodziak, Matt Cooke and Jason Zucker about the upcoming season. Check out the vids: Cooke, Brodziak and Zucker.