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The R.S.S. Feed: Feb. 2, 2009

by Ryan Stanzel / Minnesota Wild
Feb. 2, 2009


1 p.m. CST

SUBMIT A MAILBAG QUESTION ...

Tuesday is usually R.S.S. Feed mailbag day, but I’m pushing it to gameday, Wednesday this week. So submit “behind the scenes” questions to rstanzel@wild.com before Wednesday.

Wild TV | Bruno's top five goals
Which did we pick as his top Wild goal?

Wild TV | Brunette: 'An honor'

Wild TV | Brunette highlight reel

Wild TV | J. Lemaire

Gallery | Bruno flashbacks
From Nov. 12, 1998 through the Avs

ALSO, WILD ON TELEVISION ...

It’s a Wild night on NHL Network tonight. Voices: Bob Kurtz will air at 6 p.m. (central), while Day in the Life: Nick Schultz will follow at 6:30.
Since the Wild was off yesterday – the first of the month – the anticipated news came today that Andrew Brunette will serve as team captain for February. Brunette has been alternate captain all season. Jacques Lemaire called Brunette “dedicated” and “liked in the room,” and he also noted how Brunette has been playing with a knee injury, suffered Jan. 17 against Anaheim.

This will mark Bruno’s fifth month as captain of the Wild, but the first since March/April 2004. Only Brad Bombardir (seven) was captain more times. Brian Rolston also served as captain five times. No word on who will wear the other “A” with Koivu, but I think Owen Nolan has a good chance to keep it. Nolan will play in his 1,100th game Wednesday, becoming the 26th active player to reach that mark.

The Wild skated for an hour today. Lemaire said his team started out slow after the day off, but picked up the pace throughout practice.

Craig Weller (head injury) skated before the rest of the team, but is “not there yet,” according to assistant GM Tom Lynn. Stephane Veilleux and Derek Boogaard did not practice today, due to muscle spasms. Owen Nolan was given the day off, as is often the case after back-to-back games.

Lemaire raved about James Sheppard in particular, and Colton Gillies as well. He said Shepp has been “amazing.” Check out Wild TV for more.

“At the start of the season, we wanted him to do certain things,” Lemaire said of Sheppard. “Maybe because we counted on him, he felt the pressure. All of a sudden we accept what he’s doing, and since then, the last five, six to 10 games, he’s been better.”

Lemaire also said he liked the games of newly recalled Peter Olvecky and recently acquired Dan Fritsche: “They responded well. They worked hard. I want them to keep working and do more things on the ice.”

Both Olvecky and Fritsche were popular with the media this morning.

Cal Clutterbuck and goalie coach Bob Mason said they’d missed me on the road. This was two straight “trips” (albeit short trips) that I have not gone on, to be extended to three with next week’s one-gamer at Detroit. I assured them they’d see lots of me in March, when the team is on the road for 14-of-17 games at one point.

I’m getting a head start on game notes for Wednesday against Anaheim. Did you know the Ducks have never swept a regular season series at Xcel Energy Center? Anaheim won 3-0 on Jan. 17.

Lastly, it’s a Wild night on NHL Network tonight. Voices: Bob Kurtz will air at 6 p.m. (central), while Day in the Life: Nick Schultz will follow at 6:30.
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