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The Minnesota Wild wrapped up its four-day stretch of zero games with one more tune up for Wednesday night’s showdown with the Boston Bruins.
Former Bruin Chuck Kobasew will return to the lineup to face the team that traded him to Minnesota in October. Kobasew admitted to being excited about facing his former teammates.
“It’s exciting to be back in the lineup and getting the chance to get back and play a team that I played for a number of years. But we’re just trying to get the win. Just go out there and play hard.”
Kobasew has missed the last four games with a lower body injury, but says he is ready to go.
“I feel good,” he said. “I had a couple good practices with the team and we’ll see what the trainers say and go from there.”
Kobasew also laughed when told that the Wild’s most recent acquisition – Guillaume Latendresse
who was acquired yesterday in exchange for Benoit Pouliot – said he remembered playing Kobasew as a Bruin, and jokingly said he “hated him.”
“I heard that, that’s funny,” said Kobasew. “We played him a ton with that big rivalry there. He’s a big, strong guy. A power forward type player and he competes hard. I think he’ll be a good addition to our team.”
Latendresse has yet to join the team and likely won’t play in tomorrow’s game as he waits for his work visa to be processed.
In other news, it’s been a rough couple of days for Wild assistant coaches. Mike Ramsey spent Sunday night in the hospital after not feeling well, but he was back on the ice on Tuesday. Dave Barr, the other assistant, took a bouncing puck off his shin as he was watching a drill. He was clearly hobbled and could be heard saying, “That’s why you wear shin pads.”
The Wild’s practice today was heavy on power play and penalty kill work, which is customary the day before a game. Richards could be heard from the ice reminding the top power play unit of how their goal on Friday was the result of all five guys touching the puck in four seconds. That same unit of Andrew Brunette, Mikko Koivu
, Antti Miettinen, Marek Zidlicky and Greg Zanon then went out and threaded the needle about five times with Brunette finishing on the doorstep.
That got some cheers and stick taps, and even a “Wow!” from Nick Schultz.
Another customary day-before-game ritual is one player buying lunch for the entire team. Chuck Kobasew ordered up some Bar-B-Que from Famous Dave’s. This was the second time in a week that Famous Dave’s was on the menu. Last week, Captain Mikko Koivu
was unhappy that all of the Macaroni and Cheese was gone before he got his plate. Today, Wild PR Manager Aaron Sickman made it up to him by placing a plate at his locker with three Mac and Cheese noodles on it, as well as some utensils.