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The Daily Wild - April 13, 2008

by James MacDonald / Minnesota Wild

-- The Wild traveled today from its team hotel downtown, made its way east along a portion of the 25-plus mile Colfax Avenue and arrived at the building formerly known as Building 1499.

The massive structure across the street from two other large hangers is part of the redevelopment of the former Lowry Air Force base and now houses Big Bear Ice Rink. On a beautiful Colorado afternoon, with kids streaming out of the suburban Denver rink in shorts and smiles, the Wild streamed in to dress in Big Bear’s Red Rink locker room and charge through nearly an hour-long practice in preparation for its Western Conference Quarterfinals Game 3 Monday night.

Among those on the ice was Nick Schultz, who underwent an appendectomy on April 7.

“Nick is a guy who means a lot to our hockey team,” Brian Rolston said after a noon practice. “He’s been a steady, steady defenseman and he comes to compete every night. It’s nice to see him out there.”

Schultz spent a few stretches of the practice sitting on the bench, but also took some turns at the point on the power play and moved well. The team’s 25-year-old January and February captain, however, is not ready to return.

“I’m really surprised that he’s been skating so early after the operation,” Jacques Lemaire said. “Today, he skated again. He’s not ready to have physical activities, but he’s there, he’s skating, he’s shooting pucks. It’s good for us.”

Should the Wild’s playoff season last long enough to make for a Schultz return, Rolston is looking forward it, but only under the right circumstance.

“I certainly hope he doesn’t rush back, but, at the same time, we would love to have him in the lineup -- there’s no question about that, but he needs to take his time to heal and if he feels he can skate a little bit, that’s great.”

Keith Carney is quick to joke about which of his sticks is a passing stick or a shooting stick, but on Friday night, he was using a foreign stick. Due to a shortage of his own sticks, he borrowed from Mikko Koivu.

And it was with Koivu’s pattern that he scored his overtime game-winner in Game 2.

"I used his stick last game, yeah I had to borrow one," Carney said. "I didn’t have any. I just don’t have any. I had to use something else."

Here is the official word ...

Radivojevic -- right leg sore, probable for Monday
Mark Parrish -- did not travel with the team
Schultz  -- out
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