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The R.S.S. Feed: Dec. 6, 2008

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild

All-Time Wild Record: 13-11-5
     8-3-3 at Xcel Energy Center
     5-8-2 at Nashville

The Wild claimed a 6-2 win at Sommet Center (11/29) … Andrew Brunette (1-2=3), Mikko Koivu (2-1=3), Antti Miettinen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard (1-1=2) recorded multi-point contests and Josh Harding made 25 saves…Jason Arnott and David Legwand scored and Dan Ellis made 23 saves for the Predators.

WILD LEADERS: Marian Gaborik has collected 21 points (12-9=21) in 25 games against the Predators … Andrew Brunette has recorded 16 points (9-7=16) in 28 matches … Martin Skoula has tallied 16 points (5-11=16) in 33 contests … Pierre-Marc Bouchard has scored 15 points (5-10=15) in 20 games … Mikko Koivu owns 14 points (4-10=14) in 10 games.

WILD GOALIES: Niklas Backstrom is 5-0-0 with a 2.58 GAA and a .922 SV% in five lifetime meetings (3 starts) against Nashville…Josh Harding is 2-2-0 with a 3.00 GAA and a .899 SV% in four starts.

PREDATORS LEADERS: Jason Arnott has notched 17 points (4-13=17) in 23 games against the Wild … Martin Erat has collected 17 points (8-9=17) in 21 contests … J.P. Dumont owns 13 points (4-9=13) in 14 games.

PREDATORS GOALIES: Dan Ellis is 1-2-0 with a 3.35 GAA and a .889 SV% in three starts against Minnesota … Pekka Rinne has not faced the Wild.

CONNECTIONS: Marek Zidlicky was acquired by Minnesota from Nashville in exchange for Ryan Jones and a 2009 second round pick on July 1, 2008 … Zidlicky appeared in 307 games with Nashville (2003-08) … Andrew Brunette spent the 1998-99 season with the Predators … Joel Ward made his NHL debut with the Wild appearing in 11 games in 2006-07.
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Dec. 6, 2008


We're en route to the airport five minutes early. Everyone wants to get home.

The Wild is just having a difficult time capitalizing on the scoring chances they are getting. Josh Harding was spectacular, making career-high in saves (42).

Awaiting word on practice for Sunday. I think it'll be a day off. The Wild leaves Wednesday with Aaron Sickman for Phoenix. I'll blog Monday and Tuesday before I head to New York for some pre-Christmas festivities with my family.

Second period

A much better second period for the Wild, which held a 16-14 shots advantage. A big 1:15 of power play time to start the third period.

No interviews during the second intermission.

I'm working with August to try to get some more beverages on board the plane. Catering is about to board, so we're all set there. I can't wait to (try to) start my car tonight in zero degree temps!

Let's get this one done in regulation, and for the good guys.

First period

A pretty tame first, save for the Boogaard/Belak fight, their third of the season.

Our FS North crew interviewed Stephane Veilleux, while our radio interviewed Antti Miettinen.

And I often talk about how cold the buildings are in the sun belt. But this may be the coldest one yet. And free flu shots to anyone who'd like them tonight.

When they're announcing the lineups here, after each visiting player, the crowd chants "he sucks." When they announced Jacques Lemaire, they said "he sucks too."

6:45 p.m.

Every healthy Wild skater was at the rink by 5 p.m., and the Wild warmed up both Krys Kolanos and Craig Weller. Colton Gillies is out, and will likely be joined by either Kolanos or Weller. Josh Harding in net opposite Pekka Rinne.

The in-game blog won't be quite as extensive tonight. A lot going on, including my trying to help Kevin Gorg of FS North land an interview with Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler. They're in Section 108, in the second row. We're the only TV tonight, so it just may happen.

I had a nice BBQ lunch today with a college buddy and his girlfriend, then spent some time at the Charlie Daniels Museum. I wanted to make it through the day without a nap, but it didn't happen. Hopefully 30 minutes of sleep will help me make it through the next seven hours or so before we land.

A good question today from Dan:

Q: Hey Ryan,

I enjoy your blog, you do a great job! Wondering if the boys have a pregame meal on their own or does the team provide the meal at the hotel banquet room? What does the meal usually consist of?  Thanks for your time and effort.
Regards, Dan

A: Thanks for the e-mail, Dan! The pregame meal happens in the hotel banquet room around 1 p.m., after the pregame skate. It consists of two kinds of soup (chicken noodle and minestrone), chicken, steak, salmon, pasta with meat, marinara and sometimes alfredo sauce, rice, potatoes, and ice cream. The players also have a "snack" before coming to the arena, typically a muffin, fruit, oatmeal. All this is set up at 3:30 p.m. You don't want to have too much food right before the game. We have pizza for the players after the game, and then they eat on the plane as well. For home games, guys go to restaurants for pasta, etc.

Also thanks to Kyle from Madison and Rick from Saskatoon for e-mails today.

11 a.m. CST

It's always nice to be back in the south for a day, ya'll. Just said hi to Predators forward Joel Ward, who played some games with Wild and was in Houston for three years. One of the nicest guys you'll meet, Wardo is playing on the Preds' top line with Jason Arnott.

It's an optional skate this morning, but it looks like most guys will go on the ice. Those who didn't go on the ice are playing soccer to loosen up. Josh Harding is expected to start in goal tonight.

All things considered, last night went OK, and we arrived to the hotel around 1:30 a.m. There was a lot of traffic getting out of Xcel Energy Center last night, especially with the first significant snowfall of the season. Some guys had to wait for a train on Shepherd Road, and one did not have his ID, but we were able to work through that. We were all on board the plane about 10:40 p.m., and pulled off the tarmac about 30 minutes later after significant de-icing. I handed out per diem once we hit 10,000 feet, had a sandwich and read my book. A couple of pork chops were undercooked, so I took care of that with our catering company first thing this morning.

The Wild also called up Krys Kolanos from Houston. Owen Nolan didn't make the one-game trip with the lower body injury sustained last night. Kolanos has a history of arriving without sticks (not his fault), but we talked to the airline gate agent last night and asked them to watch his sticks get on the plane.

Breaking news from Preds PR guru Tim Darling. At least two of the following: Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler will be in the stands tonight. Especially happy to hear this was FS North's Kevin Gorg, who publicly confessed his crush on Miss Swift last week. We'll have a seat location so they can show the singers on TV. Underwood is playing the Sommet Center tomorrow night.

I have only one ticket request to send in. After making sure the team lunch is all set, I'm meeting up with a college buddy of mine, Joe, and his new wife, Amanda, who live in town.

Nashville goalie Dan Ellis took a shot in the leg in the pre-game skate. Pekka Rinne is expected to start. The Preds will call up a goalie to back up Rinne.
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