Monday, 2 p.m. CDT
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Marian Gaborik skated by himself prior to the Wild’s optional 1 p.m. practice today, which included nine players -- Craig Weller, Colton Gillies, Derek Boogaard, Kurtis Foster, Peter Olvecky, Josh Harding, John Scott, Dan Fritsche and James Sheppard. All were on the ice this afternoon for a short session led by Mario Tremblay and Bob Mason. Jacques Lemaire was at the arena today and, despite trying to tell media in attendance they should take a day off, was in a positive mood when he spoke with them briefly about the club’s road trip and getting ready for another big game tomorrow against San Jose.
Jacques talked quite a bit about the fact the Wild can be energized by the "games in hand" it has on some of the teams it is chasing. By the middle of the month, those games in hand pretty much go away as Minnesota catches up to the pack with so many three-games-in-four-nights runs, but, generally, Jacques viewed it as a positive.Monday, 3 a.m. CDT
Anyone ever laid down on a commercial airliner between the first class cabin wall, and the first row of coach seats? Heck of a lot more comfortable than most seats. See if they'll let you lay there on your next flight.
Amazingly enough, we're going to arrive probably about 45 minutes later than originally planned. Lot of stressing over "what ifs" in this job. We flew a regular airline charter, but thankfully had Cindy, one of our regular flight attendants, already in Long Beach ready to assist. She had all our pre-departure food (sandwiches, salads, chips and drinks) out at the hangar. So the guys ate, played cards and watched some UFC. The plane arrived at about 9:35 and we were in the air by 10:15. It helped that it's a big plane that didn't need fuel.
One final note -- as we took off, Cindy said to me, "Ryan, one more thing I didn't want to tell you but I can now ... There's an airport curfew, and we just made it." I'm pretty sure I turned white. I'm glad she didn't tell me that ahead of time.
And we think we had a long day. Cindy, our trusty flight attendant, has a 6 a.m. commercial flight back to Phoenix on Monday.
Now, for real, you won't hear from me until Tuesday. Nine players will skate Monday at 1 p.m. in Saint Paul.