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[Ed. note: Today's blogging shoes are being capably filled by PR guru Aaron Sickman, who, like the team, left immediately after Friday's game and landed in Nashville last night for tonight's game.]Nov. 29, 2008
1:30 p.m. CST
Hello from downtown Nashville. The Wild held an optional practice this morning that saw 14 players on the ice (2, 5, 8, 9, 12, 18, 19, 22, 24, 29, 47, 51, 67, 96). Jacques Lemaire was not on the ice today, but did talk to the media before practice and said Josh Harding
will get his second start of the season tonight.
Harding’s only other start this season came Oct. 30 vs. Montreal. Niklas Backstrom
will get a much-deserved day off today, as he was not on the ice this morning, either. Lemaire also said there would be one change on the front line. Based on the fact that Cal Clutterbuck
and Colton Gillies were the last two on the ice today with Mike Ramsey, it appears Craig Weller will return to the lineup as well. He last appeared in a game Nov. 8 at Vancouver.
Dan Ellis will start tonight between the pipes for Nashville. The Predators are also playing their second game in as many nights, as they won at Atlanta last night in overtime. They had even fewer people on the ice this morning.
It was good to see Mike Russo and John Shipley again today. It was a little weird not seeing either beat writer at yesterday’s matinee. They were both in good spirits after getting a day “off” and having their notebooks filled from their conversation with Jacques this morning.
Nashville is one of the better places to travel to on the road in terms of team services, as our hotel is right across the street from the rink, and our bus driver, Pat, is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Guys can get up and walk across the street to the rink whenever they want; no bus is needed in the morning. There are also plenty of good places to go find a bite to eat or listen to some country music right behind our hotel.
We had one small hiccup last night upon arrival. The media bus would not start, so Pat had another bus come and pick up our television and radio folks. They had to wait about five minutes for the second bus to get them. Fortunately, it was a very pleasant evening outside. As we left the FBO, we passed the media bus sitting on the shoulder with its hood up. Apparently, the driver turned off the bus waiting for us to land and then couldn’t get it turned back on -- the battery was dead. We arrived at the hotel around 7:15 p.m. and I joined some of the folks from Fox Sports North for a 7:55 showing of Australia and called it a night. The movie was a little long at times (2:45) but, overall, I would recommend it.
Tonight, the bus will be outside the hotel at 3:45 p.m. so folks can place their bags on the bus and walk over to the rink. Time to turn in our team’s ticket requests.