It's a sad day for mustache lovers here in the State of Hockey, as Monday's practice marked the last time we'll see the Minnesota Wild sporting the upper lip caterpillars.Tonight, the mustaches will make one last appearance at the "Wild About Children" event at Pazzaluna Restaurant where the entire team will trade their jerseys for aprons and serve a four-course meal to Wild fans who plunked down their money for a good cause.
Nearly every player on the team sported a mustache at some point through the month. Some even closed out the month by brushing in some hair dye to make the staches stand out more.
Perhaps the depression of their impending shaves caused the Wild to lack some energy at Monday's practice. In fact, Head Coach Todd Richards cut the hour short due to his team lacking any sort of spark.
"We looked tired," said Richards. "There wasn't any energy out on the ice."
It also was difficult because the club had only three defensemen - Nick Schultz, John Scott and Greg Zanon - participating. Marek Zidlicky (lower body), Shane Hnidy (personal) and Kim Johnsson (illness) were not on the ice. Richards said he hopes to get Zidlicky back for the game on Wednesday, but it appears likely that Jaime Sifers will be recalled regardless.
Richards praised Sifers' effort in Saturday's 3-2 shootout win over Colorado.
"He was really good," said Richards. "He battled. He competed. I felt comfortable when he was out on the ice."
Martin Havlat was back on the ice with his teammates, and Richards said he looked good and "fast." Antti Miettinen, who missed three games with illness, also returned to practice and looks ready to go for Wednesday.