A total of 22 players were on the ice today for the Wild’s optional morning skate. Kim Johnsson and Owen Nolan took their option, as did Jacques Lemaire, who spent a lot of time talking to Lou Lamoriello and other members of the Devils staff in the stands.
Marian Gaborik will not play tonight as he was one of five players still on the ice (Boogaard, Gillies, Scott and Weller, too) when the first bus headed back to the hotel for lunch. When asked if Gaborik would play tonight, Lemaire said, “I don’t know, he will come back very soon.” It appears Sunday is a lot more likely. Niklas Backstrom
will start in net tonight. Lemaire also spent a lot of time talking with the New Jersey media about Martin Brodeur and his time with the Devils.
Always fun trying to get your bearings in a new arena and this morning was no different. Took some time to figure out how to get from the locker room to the Prudential Center ice and made a few wrong turns before finding the media entrance so I could pick up Bob Kurtz’s credential for him. To their credit, the security staff in the arena were very helpful in pointing people in the right direction.
Ran into Brian Rolston as he was leaving this morning. Nice being able to say hi to him. He was a great player to deal with on and off the ice. The coaches had fun saying hi to him as well. We also had the pleasure of seeing Jim Dowd, who lives 15 minutes away from Newark and stopped by to say hello. Another great guy. -- Aaron Sickman