Wild Top Stories
Zid's off the skids. Marek Zidlicky is practicing with the team, and indications are that he will make his debut at home against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday
The Star Tribune's Brian Stensaas (and Randball's own Stensation) filed this report from Parade.
I talked with Zidlicky for the first time today. I think he’s genuinely excited to be here. His face lit up when asked about Thursday. He is ready to get in front of a sold-out arena.
More injury updates: The Wild Walking Wounded (Owen Nolan, Marian Gaborik and Pierre-Marc Bouchard) were held out of practice today, but did in fact skate prior to the practice session.
Jacques said the trio is just not ready yet to fully practice. But he’s encouraged by the next two days off yet before playing again.
Buh-buh-buh-Bruno and the Finnnssssahhhhh. Andrew Brunette, Antti Miettinen and Mikko Koivu were given a pass from practice 30 minutes early. It wasn't to send a message, but I'm guessing it did in fact to the young kids. Play hard, play well and you don't have to practice as hard.
The Kids Aren't Alright. It's no secret that Jacques Lemaire has issues with the youngsters on the roster, and has been loathe to play the young guys over the vets (he must have spoken with Tom Kelly and Ron Gardenhire), but the message was sent this weekend, and it's loud and clear.
From the Pioneer Press:
Earlier this week Lemaire said his young players might have to "learn the hard way." The time for that lesson appears imminent.
"Soon as I'll get my guys back, I know what I'm going to do," he said. "It's a matter of time — a matter of time, I'm telling you. It's no secret."
With Marian Gaborik (lower body), Owen Nolan (leg), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (back) and Marek Zidlicky (ankle) sidelined by injuries, the Wild gutted out three road victories on the backs of Mikko Koivu, Antti Miettinen, Eric Belanger and the team's other remaining veterans.
The contributions of players such as Benoit Pouliot, Colton Gillies and Erik Reitz - each playing their first full NHL seasons - were negligible. Even second-year center James Sheppard has struggled.
"I don't want to get on them, but come on," Lemaire said. "This is the NHL. I've said that. We demand a lot, and the kids have got to play."
"Gabby might be back, Bouchard might be back, Zidlicky might be back. And maybe Nolan will be back, too. When we get these players, we'll be fine," Lemaire said. "That's got to help, because we can't go like this."