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The R.S.S. Feed: Feb. 16, 2009

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
Monday, 1:30 p.m. CST

Breaking news into the R.S.S. Feed. Derek Boogaard did not practice today due to the flu.

In the movie Bull Durham, Kevin Costner portrays “Crash Davis,” an aging minor league veteran baseball catcher who mentors “Nuke LaLoosh” (played by Tim Robbins). The Wild now has its own version of Crash, although it’s a rookie who, this morning for instance, nearly incapacitated a pair of his coaches at today’s practice. Even before this, though, the players started calling Colton Gillies “Crash.”

First, Gillies checked Mike Ramsey today.  He then became the second Wild player in a week to knock his head coach, Jacques Lemaire, to the ice. Gillies went to dump the puck, which headed straight for Lemaire and Mario Tremblay. Tremblay managed to avoid the puck, but it hit a ducking Lemaire in the back, and he took yet another tumble. You’ll remember that last week, Antti Miettinen ran into Lemaire.

This created one of the funniest conversations you’ll ever see, in the locker room after practice. Rookies are the ones who pick up pucks at the end of practice. Peter Olvecky and Colton Gillies walk in the room after doing that, and Gillies says “Hey Clutter, thanks for the help picking up pucks today” as Cal Clutterbuck sat in his stall, talking to Brad Bombardir. Clutterbuck fired back, saying “Did you pick up the one you hit Jacques with?” It was all in good humor, and very funny.

As for practice…
The Wild was on the ice for about 1:15 today. Saturday’s loss was still on the mind, but Lemaire did his best to make the players forget it. They practiced some situations (4-on-4, 6-on-5) that they hardly ever practice. They also did some skating drills at the end of practice.

Lemaire pointed out to the media after practice that there were several points in the game he could see the game turn the Senators way. He also said his coaching staff counted nine (NINE!) odd-man rushes in the game. Which is “like 18” for a Lemaire coached team, he quipped, and also the most he’s seen his team give up in all his 1,100-plus games of coaching.

In additions to Boogaard, Marc-Andre Bergeron did not skate today. He’s suffering from some upper body soreness, so he was given the day off.

Tomorrow, the Wild will split the team in two – one group (veterans and guys who play a lot of minutes) will work out off the ice, while younger guys will be on the ice here at Xcel Energy Center.

Cal Clutterbuck, along with several media members, will participate in the Wild’s annual High School Media Day, brought to you by the Minnesota High School Press Association.

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