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The R.S.S. Feed: Dec. 16, 2008

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
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Dec. 16, 2008

3:30 p.m. CST

One quick mailbag item:

Q: Ryan,
First, kudos on terrific coverage and writing. Will the Marketing department consider the “24” Boogie style pajamas for distribution? Hey, they made one for the commercial. Thanks!
-- Mary from Roseville

A: Mary, thanks for the e-mail and the compliment. It’s funny you should ask about the Boogaard pajamas (if you haven’t seen the commercial, visit Wild TV). Tomorrow night, the pajama top, signed by Boogaard himself, will be auctioned off in arena. The auction for the Andrew Brunette jersey from his commercial went for $1,500 earlier this season. But thus far, no plans to mass produce.
You know that old axiom it’s too cold to snow? That’s not true, based on what I see as I look out my window overlooking Kellogg Street this afternoon.

Marian Gaborik told the media he would be “good to go” to play tomorrow, that after an up-tempo hour-long Wild practice. That’s when head coach Jacques Lemaire left the ice. (Gaborik was on for an extra 20 minutes working on conditioning.) Lemaire said he thinks Gaborik has progressed as far as he can without simulating game conditions.

Today, the Wild scrimmaged a bit, so Gaborik had to backcheck, forecheck, etc., to try to get himself ready for game conditions. Gaborik said he’d try to take short shifts and keep it simple.

The Wild is 221-179-87 all-time with Gaborik in the lineup, and 47-56-13 without him. Brent Burns skated as a defenseman today in practice, which could push Erik Reitz out of the lineup, but Lemaire said that was a decision for Wednesday.

Near the end of practice, Pierre-Marc Bouchard put on an unreal display of accuracy. He fired from the right circle and not only knocked the water bottle off the net, he knocked it clear into the far corner.

After practice, Bouchard and Stephane Veilleux played an epic three-set match of table tennis, with Dan Moriarty of NHL Productions taping footage and getting audio. We’ll let you know when the piece airs on NHL Network. Moriarty is hanging around to tape an update on Kurtis Foster on Thursday. Foster, meanwhile, hung out with Hockey Night in Canada today for an update they're shooting. In addition to all this, KARE 11 taped some “Wild Around the World” segments for its morning show.

A funny moment from this afternoon, after most of the media had left Lemaire’s post-practice media scrum. Wild Radio’s Kevin Falness dropped the black fuzzy end of his microphone/tape recorder. It looks kind of like a nerf ball. Jacques lined up a shot and -- whack -- it went airborne and into the wall at the end of the room. A great shot by Jacques.

I brought my lunch (a delicious Cajun pasta dish from Headwaters Café) with me to practice and ate it in the stands. First, I had to hear from Wild assistant equipment manager Matt Benz from the bench, asking me how good it was. Apparently a couple of players took notice, too, because Mikko Koivu asked me in the locker room if I enjoyed my lunch. 

Also, a cameraman and producer from a popular Finnish TV station (like MTV) is in town spending a few days and getting some footage with Koivu.

A couple neat things from tomorrow’s game notes. Well not so much neat, as downright scary:

Flames RW Jarome Iginla is the all-time leader against the Wild in points (47), goals (27), plus-minus (+18) and shots (142). He is tied for first with Joe Sakic with seven GWG's against the Wild, and his 27 goals are a whopping 11 more than any other player has scored (Sakic and Milan Hejduk). Iginla ranks second with eight PPG versus Minnesota. At Xcel Energy Center, Iginla is the opponent leader in goals (12) and is tied with Sakic for the most points (19). Overall, the Flames are 17-2-1 against the Wild when Iginla scores a goal, including 7-2-1 at Xcel Energy Center. Iginla has recorded at least one point in 29 of 43 games versus the Wild, and the Flames are 20-5-4 in those instances, and just 6-5-3 when he's held off the scoresheet. The Flames are 11-0-0 when Iginla has two or more points against Minnesota. Iginla has a point in 16 of 22 all-time games in St. Paul, and the Flames are 9-4-3 in those games but 2-4-0 when he doesn't record a point. Iginla has a point in each of his last five games at Xcel Energy Center (4-3=7).

Flames G Miikka Kiprusoff is 19-6-3 with a 1.83 GAA, a .932 SV% and three shutouts in 28 starts against Minnesota. His 19 wins and 28 appearanecs are the most by any goaltender against the Wild (no other goalie has more than 12 victories versus Minnesota). Among goalies playing 10 or more games versus the Wild, Kiprusoff ranks fourth in GAA (1.83) and fourth in SV% (.932), and his three shutouts are tied with five other goalies for the most ever. Kiprusoff is 7-5-2 with a 1.89 GAA, a .933 SV% and one shutout at Xcel Energy Center. His seven victories are more than any other goalie (David Aebischer - 6), and his 1.89 GAA trails only Dominik Hasek (1.11) and Aebischer (1.85). Kiprusoff's .933 SV% at Xcel Energy Center is second to Hasek's .947. Kiprusoff has allowed two goals or less in 22 of 28 starts versus the Wild, including 11 of 14 at Xcel Energy Center. Kiprusoff has started all 28 games versus the Wild since his trade from San Jose in the 2003-04 season. The last goalie to start for the Flames against the Wild was Jamie McLennan on 11/7/03, a 3-0 Wild win.
Calgary is in St. Louis tonight, and the Flames will have fun flying in with this snow falling. This is already the ninth time this season the Wild has played a team that is playing the second half of a back-to-back. I’ll talk to everyone after the morning skate tomorrow.
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