Update: Got an email from a league source. Warren Peters will have a hearing Sunday afternoon. That obviously means a suspension is forthcoming because the Wild plays at 2:30 p.m.
I am also hearing that Cody Almond and Chad Rau are on their way.
Really not much to say on this unsightly one that won’t be in the newspaper, so check out that coverage. The Wild returned home after today’s 4-0 loss at St. Louis to host the defending Stanley Cup champ but up-and-down Boston Bruins at 2:30 p.m.
NBC must be salivating over this one.
Mikko Koivu is a question mark. The Wild can’t score (2.14 a game), took a season-low 13 shots (I can't remember many, other than their 12th, which came from center-ice), looked lifeless, gave up goals to guys who haven’t scored in decades (an exaggeration, albeit a slight one).
I don’t know what else to say anymore about this team.
It’s lost 14 of 16 road games since Dec. 13, and both the wins are at Colorado, which is mostly an indictment about the Avs. It has scored 17 goals in those 16 road games. In 16 of 28 games (5-17-6) since Dec. 13, the Wild has scored one or fewer goals. In its past 3 games, it's had 9 shots through 2 periods twice, and 10 tonights. Every game it goes almost 20 minutes without a shot at some point (today, 18:36). It took 6 shots in the final 40 minutes today.
I mean, honestly folks, mercy already.
They looked to me like a team at the breaking point of giving up today. The playoffs are a pipedream now. GM Chuck Fletcher might be in sell mode, and we may never know, because really, what can he sell for anything of substance if he’s not willing to sell the farm (which, thankfully, he’s not)?
The one storyline from this game that may trickle into Sunday is whether Warren Peters gets suspended. From a league source, he’s been flagged, but as of 6 p.m. CT, there’s been no decision yet if he’ll have a hearing.
With 3 ½ minutes left in a 4-0 game, Peters took exception to David Backes running around the ice smoking teammates. First, he crashed into Nate Prosser in the corner, then he chased down Jared Spurgeon by the Wild bench.
Maybe luckily, Spurgeon seemed to fall first, which probably saved his bacon. Peters slashed Backes to ask him to go right after. But Backes skated toward the Wild net before he was met by Darroll Powe, then Peters, who says he cross-checked him once in the triceps to get his attention, then cross-checked him again.
That one glanced up Backes’ shoulder pad and hit him in the side of the head. Backes looked hurt to begin with and left the ice smarting. He didn’t return, but coach Ken Hitchcock said afterward he was “fine.”
Peters knew after the game he messed up and said he’d accept the consequences, but by no means was it meant to be malicious.
“That was not the intent that I went in with,” Peters said.
The league may also review Cal Clutterbuck’s hit on Alex Pietrangelo in the second. Clutterbuck’s shoulder seemed to get Pietrangelo in the head on a board check.
Other than that, the Bruins are sitting and waiting for the Wild. If there’s a chance the Wild may be without Peters and/or Clutterbuck, it’ll need to call in reinforcements, especially if Koivu doesn’t play. His injury is undisclosed right now.
Again, this team is just scraps right now. Just a mess.
I mean, it took Erik Christensen seven games to land on the Wild’s fourth line – and that was with Koivu absent today.
That’s how invisible Christensen has been. No points and one shootout goal since arriving in Minnesota.
The march to Game 82 and a fourth consecutive missed playoff continues.
More from Star Tribune
More From Russo's Rants
The Wild, winners of three in a row, practiced in Newark, N.J., today in preparation for the start of its four-game trip.
If jARED Spurgeon isn't ready to play the Devils on Saturday, the Wild has Nate Prosser patiently waiting or could go with the five defensemen who played tonight and Marco Scandella.
"Maybe he has to do a little less," coach Bruce Boudreau said of Matt Dumba. "Sometimes players try so hard and they do too much rather than just do their job and make plays."
Jason Zucker didn't practice Wednesday. Coach Bruce Boudreau called it a maintenance day and hopes he can play against the Maple Leafs.
With Jonathan Quick injured, the Kings seriously need a goaltender after seeing Jeff Zatkoff's performance the past two games