Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Zidlicky doubtful to play vs. former team; Wild looks to break Guiness Stache Record Friday

Posted by: Michael Russo under Roster moves, Wild practice Updated: November 26, 2010 - 8:55 AM

Here's today's Darby Hendrickson-Brad Bombardir feature

Kent Youngblood covering today's game.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who missed last night's loss to Philadelphia with a leg injury, didn't practice today and is doubtful to play in Friday's 1 p.m. game vs. his old team, the Nashville Predators. Zidlicky is "possible" for Saturday's game at Colorado, said GM Chuck Fletcher.

Right wing Chuck Kobasew practiced again today. He's not expected to play Friday, but Fletcher says he's getting closer. No roster moves today.

Some notes:

-- Friday's game is a battle between the two lowest scoring teams in the West. Wild has averaged 2.35 goals per game, Nashville 2.25. However, for some unknown reason, these two teams typically play high-scoring games against each other.

-- This is a battle of the two of the best defensive teams (at least in terms of goals against) in the West. The Wild's averaged 2.55 goals against a game, fourth in the West, and the Preds have averaged 2.6 goals against a game, fifth in the West.

-- The Wild is 6-2-1 all-time in its annual Day-After-Thanksgiving matinee and has won the last two.

-- The Wild is 4-2 in its last six home games against Nashville and have scored five or more goals on three occasions.
--  Captain Mikko Koivu has registered points in five of his last six matches vs. the Predators (2-4=6), including two multi-point games.

-- Right wing Martin Havlat’s 31 points (11-20=31) against Nashville are his most against any NHL team.

-- Goalie Jose Theodore is expected to start his first game at Xcel Energy Center. His last action at the arena came Nov. 24, 2008, when he allowed four goals on 33 shots in a 4-3 loss for the Washington Capitals. In his career, including playoffs, Theodore is 2-3-1 all-time at Xcel Energy Center with a 2.58 GAA and .912 SV%.

Couple other things:

To end Movember – the team’s charitable endeavor to raise awareness for cancers that affect men -- the Wild is looking to break a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people with mustaches at Friday’s game.

The Wild’s World Record attempt will be documented with a photo on the ice of all participants (fans, players and staff) with a real mustache after the game. The current World Record is 151 established Nov. 28, 2009, by members and fans of the Partick Thistle Football Club in Glasgow, Scotland.
 
Lastly, advisory from the Wild:

Avoid Traffic Delays by Using Alternate Routes to Xcel Energy Center and Saint Paul RiverCentre During Thanksgiving Weekend

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Patrons planning to attend Friday's game should allow extra time and use alternate routes to avoid traffic congestion. Heavier traffic is expected due to the game and Hmong New Year.

Ample parking is available near Xcel Energy Center and Saint Paul RiverCentre. For way-finding information and parking maps, visit http://www.xcelenergycenter.com/GettingHere/Parking.jsp or http://www.rivercentre.org/parking/, which offer alternate routes to the most convenient parking locations for events in Saint Paul.

SOME OTHER TIPS

- Hop on the bus. Call Metro Transit at 612-373-3333 (TTY 612-341-0104) or visit www.metrotransit.org.
- Whenever possible, carpool.
- Get the latest traffic reports at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/tmc/trafficinfo/traffic.html
- Check the latest weather reports before you hit the road.
 

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