Just another day in paradise for the stressed-out hockey club.
Martin Havlat missed practiced today with a "lower body" injury and is questionable for the game against the Islanders. Coach Todd Richards said Havlat's being looked at by doctors and it'll be dependent on what they say as far as whether or not he plays.
No word if this is a new injury or a lingering injury. He did miss two games earlier this season with a groin injury sustained in Anaheim.
If Havlat can't play, the Wild will probably call up another forward from Houston, Richards said. The Wild's already got Aeros forwards Robbie Earl and Danny Irmen up here. If Havlat can't play, that'll be five forwards out against the Islanders -- Sykora, Pouliot, Kobasew and Bouchard being the others.
Today was a very intense practice down at the X. It started with a long meeting with Richards in which he very clearly told the team what he thought about last night's loss and "what I expect" (Richards explained after).
There were a number of lectures by Richards, and in between was a very physical practice that caused some players to boil over. Sticks were snapped in half, smacked against the glass.
During one sequence, Kyle Brodziak broke his stick over one bench while Mikko Koivu airlifted his stick into the stands from the other bench.
So, tomorrow night, we'll either see a team clearly motivated or a team that is so on edge, players will be turning their sticks into sawdust.
Richards said he couldn't sleep last night and has decided to change things up, particularly with his tone. He sounded like he's done being cajoling because as he said, it has gotten the Wild to where it's at (14th in the West).
This is a team wound super tight right now. Not a lot of laughs anymore on the ice or in the locker room.
The defensemen had a long meeting after practice.
If they lose to the Islanders, I can't even imagine what these days will be like between Friday and the next game against Boston on Wednesday.