Clothes shopping a necessity for Wild call-ups from Houston

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 19, 2013 - 11:54 PM

Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

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When a player is called up to an NHL team, he typically has to scramble, grab some clothes and rush to the airport. He also rarely knows how long he'll be up with the big club, which makes packing a bit difficult.

That's why the Mall of America already has seen a lot of Darcy Kuemper, Jonas Brodin and Johan Larsson, who took a round-trip cab ride there on Monday's off day.

"I'm running out of laundry," Kuemper said. "That was actually my second trip there buying things like underwear, socks and things like that. I got the call to get to Vancouver, so I just threw the essentials into a bag. I only brought one suit, so that could probably use some dry cleaning.

"I just keep buying [dress] shirts, ties and regular clothes, too, because I brought none of that."

Kuemper, who was rushed into duty Sunday against Detroit because Niklas Backstrom got sick in warmups, won his first NHL game by stopped 29 of 31 shots. Josh Harding, sidelined as he tries to get accustomed to new medication to treat multiple sclerosis, hasn't skated with the team since Thursday.

Asked if the Wild has told him anything about its plans for him, Kuemper said, "No. I'm just taking it day by day and trying to soak in everything."

Sick list

With the flu circulating through the team, coach Mike Yeo said he won't try to figure out the lineup for Thursday's game until Wednesday afternoon's practice in Edmonton. Captain Mikko Koivu, who played Sunday despite being sick, missed Tuesday's practice.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Justin Falk, who both missed Sunday's game as well, and Backstrom returned to practice Tuesday. In recent days, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter also have been sick.

Yeo said he would like to get Bouchard, who has 41 points in 44 career games against Edmonton, back in the lineup but, "We'll go into [Wednesday] and see who's healthy."

If it looks as if Larsson will be a healthy scratch in Edmonton, General Manager Chuck Fletcher indicated he might reassign him to Houston.

Playing angry

After Sunday's victory, Yeo said what turned the game is the Wild getting "ticked off" after falling behind 2-0.

"That has to be there every night," Yeo said. "We have to play the game with an edge. Taking straight lines and getting there in a bad mood. That has to be part of who we are. It's more than just finishing checks. It's the stick battles, hard play with the puck, blocking shots."

That theme continued in Tuesday's practice when Yeo stopped a drill and snapped at the Wild for not playing with purpose on the forecheck.

"Good things don't just happen by mistake," Yeo said afterward. "It's doing things the right way."

Setoguchi fined

Winger Devin Setoguchi was fined $8,108.11 (half his daily $16,216.22 salary in a normal 185-day hockey season) for his cross-check to the face of Detroit's Kyle Quincey on Sunday.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the maximum a player can be fined for a first offense has increased from $2,500 to $10,000, or half a player's daily salary (whichever is less).

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