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The R.S.S. Feed: Dec. 4, 2008

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
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Dec. 4, 2008

1:30 p.m. CST

The Wild held a relatively short practice today, around 35 minutes. A couple players, including Mikko Koivu, were given the day off. Other minute-munchers Kim Johnsson and Marek Zidlicky skated for 15 minutes or so, and then headed off the ice.

The team held a 3-on-3 tournament in the neutral zone, and the Green “Killer B’s” Team of Eric Belanger, Brent Burns and Derek Boogaard took the title. They were so excited to beat their four opponents, they even got down on the ice to pose for the traditional Stanley Cup picture. Too bad there was no camera. Jacques Lemaire said he used the tournament for two seasons. No. 1, it’s fun for the players, and No. 2, it really works on the players’ skills because they’re playing on such a small ice surface and have to make quick decisions.

In addition to the regular media scrums, the Star Tribune online talked to some players on camera after practice. They have been taking questions from kids at games to ask their favorite Wild players.

Aaron Sickman finalized the plan with Nick Schultz for tomorrow’s “Day in the Life” with NHL Network, which will follow him around all day, driving to the rink with him, etc. At the request of team DJ Josh Harding, Sickman is also working with our game ops folks on getting a new song put into warm-ups.

The Canucks play in Detroit tonight. Of course, Vancouver played in New York the night before its last trip to St. Paul, and still earned a victory. Curtis Sanford is expected to get the start tonight against the Red Wings. It will be interesting to see if the Wild gets first-round draft pick Cory Schneider tomorrow.

Our intern, Robert, went back to California for a couple of days, so Aaron and I combined to knock out clips quickly this morning. They don’t often allow me around scissors, but today I was able to pry them away. We made extra copies of clips and game notes (just ours, since Vancouver can’t load their notes until after the game tonight) to put in the packets for the Vancouver media. As soon as I finish the blog, I’ll go and finish stuffing the envelopes, so we can get the packets over to the Canucks’ hotel.

I also have to finalize a couple of last-minute details with "Twin Cities Live" regarding tomorrow’s shoot with Wild Wives Bingo and print out some documents for my first road trip in almost a month. Although we’ll be in Nashville only for about 20 hours -- one of my favorite cities and I'm disappointed to not be there longer.

A couple random notes for Friday’s game: It’s the Wild’s 599th game in team history … The Canucks are the only team to score more than one PPG against the Wild this season … Mikko Koivu has career-high six-game point streak … Marek Zidlicky has points in the last four games and is third among NHL defensemen in points since early November … Brunette’s next point (his 182nd) will tie Wes Walz for fifth place on the team’s all-time list … Brent Burns will tie Willie Mitchell for 10th place ion the Wild’s game played list (288) Friday.

And as promised, some e-mail goodies…

Q: Ryan,
Love your blog - read it everyday!  I have two questions for you. 
1.  Last year Pierre-Marc Bouchard was the main “tucker” for the Wild.  By "tucker", I mean his jersey was always tucked into his breezers in the back.  This year, there seem to be a couple of “tuckers” on the team, most notably, Brent Burns.  Can you tell me why this happens to some players and not to others?
2.  Does Jacques Lemaire have a specific brand of gum that he always chews, or does he like to switch it up?
Thanks for answering my questions.  Keep up the great work!
Mary from Woodbury, Minn.

A: Thanks for reading, Mary from Woodbury. Wayne Gretzky and Jaromir Jagr patented the “tuck.” It’s basically a personal preference. There’s no advantage either way. As far as the gum, Jacques has the following at his disposal in the locker room: Wrigley's (pink, green and blue) along with double bubble.

Q: Ryan,
Any idea what players will be at the next Hockey Unplugged at Dave and Busters on Dec. 16? Just want to know so I can purchase some photos.

A: Thanks for the note, and for being a fan of Hockey Unplugged. Stay tuned for for a player announcement on this edition of Hockey Unplugged. It will take place at Dave & Busters in Maple Grove.

Also thanks to Carole from Oakdale, Kip from Burbank, Calif., Delish, Jerry and Darin for e-mails in the last day or so. Talk to everyone Friday.
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