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Stoner Feeling Better; Rupp Ready For Iowa Stint

by Kelly Erickson / Minnesota Wild

At times hockey is a serious business. And at other times, Matt Cooke dumps a stick blade full of snow on your head.

Today wasn’t the first time the Lighthouse witnessed Cooke pull this prank, but the young Jonas Brodin was his latest victim.

While I have yet to see the Wild locker room in a sour mood (thankfully), it’s little things like Cooke’s prank that keeps the mood fun — which is never a bad thing and honestly makes my job easier. Plus, a break in game action for a few days never hurts.

This morning, the defense received a bit of good news and a bit of bad news. Starting with the bad: Keith Ballard was placed on Injured Reserve with an upper body injury. As head coach Mike Yeo said yesterday, he is expected to be out for a few weeks. The Wild have not made a corresponding move as of yet, but, again, Yeo said yesterday it wasn’t a pressing matter with Iowa just three hours away.

On to the good news: Clayton Stoner practiced with the team today. After skating solo this morning he was feeling well enough to practice. It’s not certain whether he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow against the Maple Leafs, but he told WildTV he’ll be preparing as if he’s going to play.

After crashing into the boards last Thursday at Washington, Stoner left the game early with a lower body injury. He said he was pretty thankful for the few days off, ultimately giving him the chance to rest up and get healthy again.

While it’s uncertain whether Stoner is in the lineup tomorrow, expect to see the same forward lines the Wild has been rolling of late — with Charlie Coyle up on the wing of the top line and, of course, Graninoville back in action.

WildTV caught up with Justin Fontaine today and asked him about having a set lineup for a stretch. He said he doesn’t mind switching things up — and he has moved around quite a bit this season, with playing time on almost every line at some point — it’s nice to be able to build chemistry in one spot. Fontaine is currently skating with Cooke and Kyle Brodziak.

Fontaine, who is rocking quite the ‘stache at the moment in just the second full week of MOvember — Managing Editor Mike Doyle even listed it in the Magnum PI Division in last week’s Mo Bros Power Rankings — noted that though the Wild isn’t looking its sharpest when it comes to facial hair, it’s fun to help out a great cause.

Rupp Assigned to Iowa

Forward Mike Rupp has missed the entire season so far with a lower-body injury. Today it was announced he has been assigned to the Iowa Wild, Minnesota’s AHL affiliate, for a conditioning loan.

Rupp has been practicing with Minnesota for a few weeks, but is looking forward to getting in some game action prior to rejoining the team, as he noted in today’s PONDcast.

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