Matt Cullen and John Madden should have been given a police escort back to the hotel and labeled with HANDLE WITH CARE stickers.
Stay away from the Wild centermen because they're dropping like the Colorado Avalanche in the standings.
First Mikko Koivu broke his finger. Then, Kyle Brodziak got the plague. Now, Cody Almond has a lower body injury, although it looked more like mid/upper this morning.
Regardless, Warren Peters is landing about this very second to play tonight against the Ducks. The lines, not sure of yet, because coach Todd Richards said he may change things around. My guess is Eric Nystrom moves to third-line center between Cal Clutterbuck and Chuck Kobasew, and Peters centers Brad Staubitz and Jed Ortmeyer.
Cullen and Madden at least can still walk, although let's be honest, Madden played hurt last night and is laboring around the chest area after being checked into the Wild bench.
Peters gives the Wild a right-shot faceoff man, at least. He played two games earlier this season, the overtime win in LA, and the blowout loss in Anaheim, averaging 6:05 of ice time. Didn't leave much of an impression on me, so we'll see if he can make an impact. But man, they're getting thin up the middle and right now just needs to overcome it.
There's not a lot of centers out there. I'm hearing Montreal is not looking to trade Jeff Halpern, I don't see a lot of interest from the Wild in Tim Connolly as of now. Marty Reasoner's out there and maybe would provide depth. Stephen Weiss is on the block, but the Wild would have to mortgage a lot to get him. Don't see it happening, at least now.
To make room for Peters, Nate Prosser was sent back to Houston.
Coach Todd Richards said this morning that Kyle Brodziak is feeling better and should be able to play Monday against Chicago. When we all hear ill, we immediately think concussion, but Richards vows that's not the case.
Talked to Gui Latendresse this morning. He still has pain in his hips and groin and says it'll be that way the rest of the year. He doesn't seem convinced he's close to returning. His conditioning is getting better, but it's definitely not there yet. He said it's hard to improve drastically because he can't push on his lower body fully.
Unfortunately, that rule that doesn't allow for conditioningh stints after Monday affects not only Josh Harding and James Sheppard, but Latendresse. He will not be cleared to play by Monday, which means no conditioning stint is in his future. So his first game action, whenever that comes, will be in the NHL.
That's it for now. Wild was very happy with it's game last night from an effort point of view. A lot of guys are banged up but will have to fight through that tonight.
Huge game. Ryan Getzlaf will be back for the Ducks. Saku Koivu is out. Dan Ellis will start vs. Jose Theodore.