Stanzel here. Aaron Sickman covered practice, but filled me in, and, with him at a meeting, I’ll give this a go.
First and foremost, Andrew Brunette didn’t practice today after suffering a lower body injury last night. He’s expected to try it out in the morning skate tomorrow, and is officially listed as “possible” for Saturday’s game against Detroit.
The Wild skated for about 45 minutes, working on 3-on-2s, and also a lot of shooting drills. The Wild had 27 shots on goal last night -- one in the third period -- but 15 shots that were blocked, and 14 that missed the net. That’s 29 shots that didn’t hit the net; for comparison’s sake, Calgary had 19 of those.
Notes are all set for the Detroit game. I hadn’t realized the Red Wings have lost in regulation at Xcel Energy Center exactly one time in 15 meetings (10-1-4). Detroit is at home tonight against Anaheim. After struggling for much of the season against teams that played the night before, the Wild has won two straight in that situation.
A special thank you to Bruce from Canada, for informing me via e-mail that Colton Gillies’ mom, dad and brother Nate were in attendance last night, making their first trip to St. Paul, and he scored a goal to boot. Neat story, and the writers were able to ask him about it today at practice.
I have the itinerary for the six-game, 11-day trip for which we depart next Thursday. It’s a nightmare from so many reasons. From a team services standpoint, there are five different game times among the six games. That means a lot of writing bus and game times on the board, and a lot of reminding guys, particularly with a scheduled day off in Vancouver on March 1. The team will also have a workout off the ice. I’ll be writing more about the challenges of this trip as it gets closer.
Brad Bombardir had a good one about the trip today. He said “It’s a long trip. It’s like as long as Lent. What are you going to give up on the trip?” I promised to give up sleep …
We’ll be back with Brunette news and more following Saturday’s morning skate. Aaron is covering the skate before heading to a wedding, so I’m going to relax during the day and get things together for the quick overnight trip to Chicago. Without Aaron here tomorrow, I probably won’t do much blogging. It’ll essentially be a road game for me (downstairs between periods), and I stay downstairs for basically the entire second period because FS North does a bench interview at the 10:00 mark.