11:30 a.m., Friday Greetings from a chilly suburban ice rink, where the Wild just wrapped up a morning skate for tonight's tilt in Chicago. The Xcel Energy Center ice was being used this morning for the morning skate for tonight's Qwest Tour game between the U.S. Women's National Team and the WCHA All-Stars.
The players who are playing tonight are on a bus back to Xcel Energy Center. The flight is at 2:45. Several recouperating injured players, including Koivu, Brunette and Hnidy are on the ice now getting back into gameshape.
The big news out of practice today, as first reported on the Wild's Twitter feed, is that John Scott will play forward tonight. With Derek Boogaard (concussion) out of the lineup, this is a good chance for the other defensemen to get work and also Scott, while also bringing an element of physicality. Todd Richards said he'll be patient with Scott's play. Scott sounded excited and reiterated he'd do whatever he needs to do to help the team.
These "dress and drives" are fun as the players dress in our own locker room, then get on the bus to head to the practice rink. The goalies have their full pads on - today I had to jump over Harding and Backstrom who were in the front row because their pads took over the entire row.
About time to catch the second bus. No road trip for me - I'll be back with a Saturday practice update.