Cautious Falk finds eye shield valuable

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 20, 2011 - 12:21 AM

After seeing so many close calls lately to himself and teammates, Justin Falk figured it's better to be safe than sorry.

So the Wild defenseman made the decision to put on a visor before Thursday's game against the Colorado Avalanche. If he had not, Falk "would have taken a forearm shiver to the grill."

Midway through the third period, Avalanche forward David Jones nailed Falk with a leaping blow to the face as Falk tried to catch a puck inside the Wild blue line.

The evidence left was a fiery red bruise underneath Falk's left eye from the visor he had coincidentally just put on.

"I'm lucky because I got my bell rung pretty good," said Falk.

Falk put on the visor because he took a high stick above the right eye in the third period the game before against Columbus. In that same game, teammate Nick Schultz was hit by a slapshot up high, and that came one game after Devin Setoguchi took a slapshot to the face in Anaheim.

"As D-men, we're down on one knee blocking shots and pucks are whizzing by everywhere, guys are shooting upstairs," Falk said. "It's just not worth the risk. I had laser eye surgery two summers ago so I can see and I'm supposed to keep the visor on.

"I played last year [in Houston] with her on and I was fine. I figure they're going to grandfather in visors in a year or two anyways, so I might as well put it on now and get back used to it. I don't want to be that guy who loses his sight."

Kyle Brodziak, Brad Staubitz, Warren Peters and Clayton Stoner are the only Wild players who don't wear visors.

Falk is disappointed the NHL didn't discipline Jones or, for that matter, teammate Erik Johnson for his attempted elbow to Matt Cullen's face in the final seconds.

"Maybe if I came out of it in worse shape it wouldn't have been passed over," Falk said. "Like Cully's incident, I mean, you can't get that reckless. You've got to have respect for your opponents in the league you're playing against. It's serious stuff."

Scandella skates

Defenseman Marco Scandella missed his fourth game because of a concussion Saturday against St. Louis. But he participated fully in the morning skate and is close to a return -- maybe Wednesday against Nashville.

"He's hungry and anxious to get back in the lineup," coach Mike Yeo said.

Concussed Wild players Guillaume Latendresse and Marek Zidlicky continue to be shut down.

"Every day ... hopefully you hear some good news, but I haven't heard a whole lot yet," Yeo said.

Breather for Backstrom

Yeo decided to start Josh Harding against the Blues -- surprising only because Niklas Backstrom was 4-0-1 in his past six appearances (five starts) with a .960 save percentage.

"Backs has played a lot of hockey, he's played great," Yeo said. "It's a good opportunity for him to get a little rest. Hards has done a great job for us. There's one game in L.A. I'm sure he'd love to have back [four goals in 32 minutes].

"But that was not just one guy's fault. That was a teamwide effort. So let's give him a chance to respond."

Before losing against the Kings last Saturday, Harding's fourth consecutive victory was Nov. 5, a 30-save effort against St. Louis.

Etc.

• Cullen was delighted his alma mater, St. Cloud State, beat the Gophers 4-3 in the front end of a home-and-home Friday. "That probably won't ever change," Cullen said of rooting for the Huskies to beat the Gophers. "I try to follow St. Cloud as much as possible. It's a loud barn, eh? They don't get much louder."

• The Wild reassigned defenseman Kris Fredheim after Saturday's game.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles 6 Bottom 7th Inning
Chicago Cubs 4
Cleveland 1 Top 10th Inning
Houston 1
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 9th Inning
St. Louis 2
Arizona 6 Bottom 8th Inning
Colorado 5
Philadelphia 1 Bottom 6th Inning
San Diego 4
Seattle 0 Bottom 4th Inning
LA Angels 0
Tampa Bay 0 4th Qtr 12:12
Atlanta 56
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close