Everything was abuzz Thursday as the Wild quickly approached the season-opening puck drop.Hockey had returned to Minnesota for another year and the Wild put on a strong showing before falling in a shootout loss to the Kings 3-2. Watching it all from the stands was Mathew Dumba.
A mere 12 hours after Opening Night shenanigans wrapped up at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild were back on the ice, trying to shake that unique, disappointing feeling that seems to linger after taking a shootout loss.
It’s like taking an upper cut to the gut and getting a sticker for your troubles.
Over the course of an 82-game National Hockey League regular season, few games match the feeling of Opening Night. There is always a great opening ceremony, the entire lineup is introduced, the players are chomping at the bit to start meaningful games and State of Hockey fans are jacked like a sixth grader after a six pack of energy drinks.
So with all that as the backdrop, the Minnesota Wild hosts the Los Angeles Kings tonight in the home opener at Xcel Energy Center.
On the eve of Opening Night, the Minnesota Wild returned from its team-bonding trip to Duluth and skated at Xcel Energy Center.
An up-tempo practice for the Wild at Xcel Energy Center this morning, after the team had Saturday off. The Wild departed after practice for a couple of days of team building in Duluth, including that Tuesday 10 a.m. open practice at Amsoil Arena. If you're going, and on Twitter (who isn't), use #mnwildinduluth.
The NHL roster deadline is tomorrow for Opening Night, but the Wild got down today, assigning Jason Zucker, Jake Dowell and Brett Bulmer to AHL Iowa. The Wild is at 23 players - although Mike Rupp has not skated with the team coming off an injury. Seeing as though the opener is four days away, the Wild could potentially put Mike Rupp on IR and recall a forward for opening night if needed.
Take a moment to imagine this scenario. You’re sitting in net, garbed in your finest goalie gear.
The rush is coming at you and Kyle Brodziak winds up and unleashes a shot. It goes high, right at your face.
Wild captain Mikko Koivu wasn’t at morning skate, presumably with his fiancée Helena, after the couple gave birth to a baby girl.
On the same day the Wild reduced its roster size to 28, one staple of its lineup was excused from practice – for good reason.
Mikko Koivu was absent from practice today as his fiancée Helena went into labor with their first child. Now if everything goes well, fans can expect Mikko in the lineup tomorrow night as the Wild take on the Blues in its fifth preseason game, and final one at home before the season opener Oct. 3 against the Kings.
Jake Dowell's on-ice battles are nothing compared to what the Wild forward faces off the ice.
Dowell's father, John, and brother, Luke, are both diagnosed with Huntington's disease, a devastating, hereditary, degenerative brain disorder with no cure. The disease slowly diminishes the person afflicted both physically and cognitively until death.
Ten days, people, 10 days until opening night.
Now that I’ve got you all excited with thoughts about the looming regular season and the promises it holds, including a nice distraction from yet another failed Twins season and the starting quarterback that is Christian Ponder, time to focus on today.