Good afternoon hockey fans, Michael Russo back on the saddle after a tough few days fighting the virus of all viruses. Because of the 6 p.m. Wednesday game, "Russo Radio" on KSTP will be tonight at 6 p.m., fyi, so call in, throw some questions and participate.
Man, that flu hits you hard and out of nowhere. I thought I was sick at times on the five-game road trip. No sir, and mam.
This sucker really got me good the middle of the night after the Montreal game and into the next few days (especially the night of the Ottawa game and Sunday). I compared notes with many of the Wild's monthlong victims today, and same symptoms. Plus, it's a sneaky in how you think you beat it and then hello, here I am again.
So, to quote Jerry Seinfeld, have fun with all that, Marty Havlat, who left the rink early today appearing to be the latest victim of the Minnesota Wild never-leaving flu.
The bug's so debilitating, the Wild finally burned all of its equipment in an attempt to destroy it.
No dice. It's like that Black Eyed Peas song. It keeps reappearing like it's on repeat, just imbedding itself into your brain until you have to ... !!!
Trust me, if you get it, tonight's not going to be a good night.
Havlat is obviously questionable for tomorrow's game against the Edmonton Oilers because of illness. Everybody else practiced today, including Petr Sykora. He obviously needs more time, however, and it won't help matters that teams aren't allowed to practice on Thursday and Friday due to the holiday. Sykora, who's stellar shot hasn't left his body, does need all the practices he can to work on his legs. So losing two days could be a do-over for him perhaps.
Real quick, on the fire, I've assumed since Moment 1 that there's only one thing that could have started that bad boy unless it was an electrical problem with the truck (and that's doubtful because the truck was apparently brand new), and that's a propane torch.
Chatted with equipment manager Tony DaCosta today, and that's his suspicion, too. He said the team didn't bring a coffee pot with them to practice, nobody on the equipment staff smokes, so it had to be one of the torches supplied by the Senators. After practice, torches are put on a stick tool cart and onto the truck. He showed me how hard it is to ignite a torch today. You have to pushing on the trigger, so he maybe it had fallen onto something and with every bump, the trigger pressed down. Still, it takes good muscle to pull the trigger, so it had to be resting on something.
Just DaCosta's guess, however. Unfortunately, just a fluky accident.
Lastly, you'd think Cal Clutterbuck would be feeling the pressure, but he's not. In this article Nov. 5, Clutterbuck predicted to me that Derek Boogaard, who hasn't scored since Jan. 7, 2006, would score "before Christmas." Well, it's not without chances, but Boogaard's NHL-high drought is now at 191 games and tomorrow's Oilers game is the last "before Christmas."
"I gave him a pass yesterday, where he was in front of the net and had his golden opportunity, and again it hit something in front. I mean, I'm not going to back down on my words. I've got him before Christmas. He's going to score tomorrow."
If Boogaard scores, I promised Clutterbuck he could write an uncensored blog on Startribune.com (don't tell my editors). If he doesn't, Clutterbuck pays off my mortgage (again, don't tell my editors because I've got to check the manual, but that could be reason for termination).
OK, in all seriousness, must write.