Tweets, chirps keep 'em laughing

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 18, 2012 - 6:33 AM

PHILADELPHIA - Defenseman Nick Schultz didn't log on to Twitter on Tuesday -- afraid of what he might find his brother, Kris, tweeting during the Wild's father/son trip.

Kris Schultz, 33, a former semi-pro hockey player who is almost four years older than Nick, has become a Twitter revelation among some Wild fans at @ripper5505. He's a superfan and has been known to go after Wild critics or chime in himself if the Wild needs a pep talk or one giant kick in the butt.

"I was trying to see if we could suspend his account," Nick Schultz said. "I haven't kept tabs, but I think he should abide by NHL rules. If he's going to be with the team, he shouldn't be allowed to tweet during certain times. He scares me."

Kris Schultz is a former minor-league scrapper, having played four years in the United and Central Hockey Leagues in Wichita, Kan.; Columbus, Ga.; and Ashville, N.C. He totaled 1,109 penalty minutes -- 389 during one season in Wichita.

"The most I ever made was $850 a week," said Kris, whose brother makes $44,000 a game. "I wasn't going to make money at it, so I had my fun and it was time to get on with the real world. That's why this is so cool. You're living a dream, whether you're here with your son or your brother.

"You get to do what you wanted to do as a kid growing up -- fly on charter planes and stay in nice hotels. We don't get the bumps and bruises, but we're doing what the players do."

The Schultzes' dad, Robert, went on the Wild's first father-son trip in 2006. Sadly, Robert died before the 2008-09 season, so Schultz's other brother, Terrence, went on the last father-son trip. Now it's Kris' turn.

Flyers fans have a reputation of being rabid and mean, so much so that former Flyer Darroll Powe joked that the Wild dads should "travel in packs."

Nick Schultz joked, "Kris can be the bodyguard for the dads. If someone chirps him, he's definitely chirping back. He's not one to take much. In fact, he may be the one instigating and the dads will have to hold him back. Philly is right up his alley."

Powe back in Philly

Powe, who spent three seasons with the Flyers, returned to Philadelphia on Tuesday for the first time since being traded to the Wild in June. His second-period goal cut the Wild's deficit to 2-1.

"It's fun to have [my dad, Brad] here, for sure," Powe said. "This is a place he got to watch a lot of hockey, and he's a big part of me being here."

Wild coach Mike Yeo joked he was in bed Monday night before most of the dads. His father, Wayne, was in the crowd Tuesday.

"It puts some added pressure on me. Another watchful eye over the shoulder," Yeo joked.

McMillan gets his shot

Carson McMillan, a 2007 seventh-round draft pick who scored in his NHL debut last season in Detroit, made his season debut against the Flyers.

Yeo said McMillan got the call because of his grit.

"We expect it to be a physical game," Yeo said. "We're looking for a guy that's going to really compete and play the game with an edge."

Etc.

• For the first time in three games, Niklas Backstrom backed up Josh Harding. Backstrom had been suffering from a stomach flu since the flight home from Calgary on Jan. 7. He hasn't started since. He has lost six pounds and "is trying to get it back."

Yeo wouldn't commit, but his initial thoughts are to start Backstrom on Thursday in Toronto.

• Defenseman Greg Zanon was scratched for the seventh time in 15 games.

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