As of now, no lineup changes tonight. Cody Almond got bigtime bagged, so I can't imagine he plays unless somebody gets sick. Nik Backstrom returns to the cage.
Reax from Richards on NHL not suspending Staubitz, fining Richards: "It was a 4-0 game, and they started to take some runs. Peckham, Stortini. The game started to get out of hand a little bit. I didn't send him out to [fight]. I just said, 'play the game.' And Jacques takes a run and all [Staubitz] did was stand up for his teammates. I think he did the right thing. It wasn't like he went after a [Taylor] Hall or one of the rookies."
By the way, the most despicable run of the period was Peckham taking a 50-foot charge on Andrew Brunette, and no call. Basically, this was a poorly-managed game, one I guarantee the refs heard about from the NHL hierarchy this morning.
Staubitz: "Glad they reviewed it and saw it the way I saw it. If you were looking at the game again, it's almost like their team were coming out with those intentions."
Richards on tonight: "This is our fourth game in six nights. ... But we need to forecheck harder and be more aggressive tonight. There will be a little bit of fatigue. When fatigue sets in, you just have to be smarter."
Richards was still not pleased with last night's game, but he did watch the video and felt it wasn't as bad as he thought.
As Richards pointed out, one-eighth of Wild's schedule has been against Calgary (six out of 48 games). Good thing his dad was a math teacher: "It's the one thing I was good at."
Morning from one of my favorite places, Calgary, inside one of my favorite arenas, the Saddledome.
Heard from coach Todd Richards after I arrived in Calgary a short while ago that the NHL has rescinded the instigator given to Brad Staubitz last night in the final five minutes. That means Staubitz will not be suspended for tonight's game in Calgary and coach Todd Richards will not be fined $10,000.
"Yes, my wife is happy!" Richards said via text.
My assumption as to why is two-fold:
1) The spirit of the rule is to keep coaches from sending goons over the ice to start melees in the last five minutes of out of control games. Well, the Wild was up 4-1, not down. It was clear Richards was not sending Staubitz out to fight J-F Jacques. He just reacted to Jacques' hit on teammate Nick Schultz. The refs should have probably recognized that and not given an instigator, one that cost Anton Khudobin a second straight shutout.
2) The NHL probably recognized how absolutely poorly the whole incident was handled five minutes earlier by the refs. Dean Morton just watches Marty Havlat get cross-checked to the ice three times by Theo Peckham, who frankly could be called for a minor penalty a shift. Then Havlat retaliates by tripping Peckham, a trip that was very close to a slew foot, which could have been dangerous to Peckham. Again, this is all because the refs don't put a stop to it earlier.
And then to compound things, because the refs didn't put a stop to this madness earlier, Zack Stortini grabs a completely unwilling Brent Burns and starts punching away when Burns never even dropped his gloves. What would the NHL's response been if Burns got hurt because of this all because the refs didn't blow the Havlat/Peckham incident down earlier. And then, to make things worse, the linesman and ref Marc Joannette don't even recognize that Burns, a non-fighter, is holding on for dear life against Stortini, a fourth-line fighter, and decide not only not to break it up immediately, Joannette and Morton then somehow decide Burns deserves a fighting major and 10-minute misconduct.
OK, got that off my chest!
Anyways, going to run. The big news here at the Saddledome is that Jarome Iginla has pulled out of the All-Star Game because his grandmother is ill. Daniel Briere will replace him. So I want to get in Calgary's room.
More later after the Wild's optional skate.