The Wild had a hard, hard practice today, which included 20 minutes of conditioning.
Afterward, the team reassigned Jordan Schroeder and Christoph Bertschy to AHL Iowa. With a day off Tuesday, it saves some cap space, but one or both potentially could be back Wednesday because the Wild will need to recall at least two forwards for the road trip (three games in four nights at Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Ottawa).
Schroeder didn't show much and Bertschy took two minors in his last two games, one that led to the power-play-winning goal for Colorado. So perhaps we'll see two other forwards. I'm sure the Wild would like to at some point get defenseman Mike Reilly back up to maybe help the power play. He's apparently playing real well in Iowa.
Coach Bruce Boudreau said today that it's "slim" that Zach Parise and Erik Hauka (foot injuries) will return during the trip.
"Erik skated today and said he felt good. I don't know what that means," Boudreau said. "I don't know timetable what that means. Zach was about 70 percent. He's getting better every day. (Marco) Scandella and (Zac) Dalpe are obviously not on the ice yet."
The Wild will resume practice Wednesday before heading to Pittsburgh to begin a stretch of 10 games in 17 days.
The Wild has lost two in a row, scoring once.
Defenseman Ryan Suter said with so many injuries and minor-leaguers on the third and fourth lines, the Wild needs to simplify and try to win low-scoring games.
The upcoming three road games come in arenas that usually aren’t kind to the Wild.
In the past three years, the Wild has been outscored 16-5 in three losses in Pittsburgh. On Saturday and Sunday, the Wild plays in Philadelphia and Ottawa with the Senators’ opening faceoff coming 22 hours after the Flyers’ one.
Since 2011-12, the Wild’s 1-3 in Philadelphia and has been outscored 14-7 and the Wild’s 1-1-2 in Ottawa and has been outscored 12-8.
With the Wild so depleted, it’s proving quite the challenge for the top two lines, which on Monday consisted of Nino Niederreiter-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund-Mikko Koivu-Jason Pominville.
“They have to fight through it. That’s their job,” Boudreau said. “That’s what makes them a top-6 forward. I know it’s tough. I know every other team puts their best defensemen and their best checking lines against these guys. These are some of the best players in the world, and I anticipate that they should be scoring.”
Right wing Chris Stewart said it's easy to dwell on the mini-skid because the team is in a stretch of two games in 11 days, but he said the Wild just needs to get back to feeling good on this upcoming trip.
"Go on road and we have to come together as a team again," Stewart said. "A couple good meals on the road and play some ugly hockey and just bond and get back in a rhythm where we play every other day. And play some winning hockey. We had a good game in Colorado, so it's just a matter of time before the tide turns."
That's it for me. I wrote a little about this in Tuesday's paper, as well as the conditioning drills the Wild did today. It was fun ... ... to watch from the stands.
I'll be in studio at KFAN at 9 a.m. Tuesday. I'll try to bring some cheer to the depressed Paul Allen.
Also, the next Russo-Souhan Show is at Twill at the Galleria on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Please join us.