By Brian Stensaas
Lots of media folks over a Wild practice this morning. TV cameramen and on-air folks were there. Some radio sound being collected, too. Seems as though the Wild is drawing more interest all of a sudden.
What we all saw was nearly everyone take the ice for a pretty long, pretty in-depth practice by coach Todd Richards. The digital clock that normally shows time over one of the Zamboni tunnels was shut off today. You knew it wasn't going to be a light workout when Richards was informed it was 11:18 and he went to the dry-erase board to set the guys up for another drill. Players had been on the ice since before 10:30.
Noticeably absent today was Nik Backstrom. He was held out of practice today with a sore back. It's something that sort of flared up over the weekend we're told, and holding him out was precautionary (or, as Richards puts it "maintenance.") Richards said Backstrom should be good to go for tomorrow's game against the Red Wings. Backstrom echoed that, saying he felt better today.
Derek Boogaard also missed practice today with a sore hamstring. He must have worked out, though, because he had a good sweat worked up when I saw him later on. Then again, maybe all that lather was just from him running to be the first in line for today's player lunch buffet
In other injury news, Clayton Stoner, out with a sore groin the past few weeks, took a little spin on the ice today. I caught the tail end of his private skate, and he seemed to be moving along fine. He said he felt good after, but we'll see how much longer til he gets back into practice shape.
Line of the day goes to John Scott. When someone said, "Still wearing your Vikings cap, huh?" he replied without hesitation: "It's the only one that fits my head."
Russo was around today, but only to speak to a handful of kids who were at the X as a part of student Media Day. He's off to Denver tomorrow to catch Wild/Avs on Thursday night from the Mile High City. That, of course, means you're stuck with me for tomorrow's home game with the Wings. I'll have a story on that injury-rattled team for tomorrow's paper and file updates here as warranted. I'll also keep you posted in the twittersphere under the user name "stensation"
Talk with you tomorrow.