Wild On The Road - Day 3
Between managing players, staff and equipment going on the road means a lot more than just visiting a different city for a few nights. As the Wild head west for four days on a two-game road trip to Los Angeles and Phoenix, we'll give you a behind-the-scenes look into all the happenings on the road. Make sure to check back in each day.
Check out all the behind-the-scenes photos: Wild On The Road Photo Gallery
Day 3: Practice In Phoenix
2:28 a.m. - Team bus pulls into hotel in suburban Phoenix. Just 12 hours until Wednesday practice!
9:30 a.m. - Many players and staff are in restaurant lobby eating breakfast. Wild digital and PR staff awaits a beat down at Shane’s Rib Shack just after 11.
11:24 a.m. - It’s nearly three hours until practice time, but as we sit outside doing some work and enjoying some natural Vitamin D, Wild head coach Mike Yeo heads into Jobing.com Arena to prepare for practice.
11:35 a.m. - One of our favorite road stops, Shane’s Rib Shack, hosts us for some BBQ nachos.
12:15 p.m. - Just got a tweet from social media guru Katlyn Gambill. According to Kings radio, a woman gave birth last night at STAPLES CENTER. Safe to say the kid’s first name will be Darcy, right?
1:45 p.m. - The popular soccer “two-touch” warm-up game is underway.
2:12 p.m. - Niklas Backstrom, as usual, is the first player on the ice.
2:20 p.m. - We get notification that #mnwild is STILL the top trending topic in the Twin Cities, above Jack Morris who was snubbed from the baseball Hall of Fame today.
2:22 p.m. - PR/digital staff gets chirped for being “computer geeks” as we are hard at work (not on Facebook as one player suggested) as team heads through tunnel onto the ice. It can be difficult to find the ice from the locker room here. A couple rookies look confused.
2:25 p.m. - Just noticed Darcy Kuemper was NHL.com’s 1st star of the night last night. Not bad considering he wasn’t named the first star in the game he played. Okay, practice time.
Graninoville was reunited in the third period, and it stays the same way in practice today. The lines from today are below. Marco Scandella is not practicing. We’ll get an update after practice.
3:02 p.m. - Players gather at center ice to begin stretch which typically means practice is ending. It was a quick, up-tempo practice today meant to stretch the legs and get the heartbeat accelerating.
3:15 p.m. - Practice is officially over.
3:27 p.m. - Highlights from Yeo availability:
“Scandella is a little sore today so we made the decision to keep him off the ice. Hopefully he’ll be better tomorrow.”
Yeo says he’s unsure of the makeup of his defensive corps tomorrow, regardless of if Scandella plays or not.
No decision on a goalie for tomorrow. But on Kuemper, last night: “He looked very controlled. I’m not a pro in teaching goalies the finer points of goaltending, but I don’t think it’s real difficult to look at a goalie and see that he’s confident…He had that right from the start last night.”
Yeo on Niederreiter: “He’s got guts, that what I like. In the first period he has a real big hit on Doughty in the corner. You see the way he’s competing in front of the net, standing eye to eye in front of the net. You don’t want him to be a fighter, but you’ve got to have a lot of guts to play the game like that.”
Yeo on the shootout (laughing): “I try not to watch the shootout.”
3:37 p.m. - Talk to you from Wild morning skate, 12:30 p.m. central time on Thursday.