Guess we'll give you the good news first:
Wild defenseman Marco Scandella, who blocked a Matt Stajan shot with his midsection late in Thursday's shootout victory over Calgary, should be OK to play, according to Wild coach Mike Yeo. Scandella traveled with the team and is expected to play in Buffalo tomorrow.
Greetings. Kent Youngblood here. The Wild had an extremely optional skate this morning over at St. Thomas Academy, one Yeo did not attend. But, later, at Xcel Energy Center, Yeo spoke with the media and gave the bad news: Jared Spurgeon, who has become one of the Wild's most dependable defensemen, has a concussion and could be out for the rest of the season.
"That is certainly a possibility," Yeo said. "This is not something, at this point in the season, we would rush him back (from). But, we'll just take it day-by-day right now."
With Scandella expected to play, and with Kurtis Foster available, the Wild won't make a call-up. They only way the team would is if Scandella should be deemed unable to play tomorrow morning. In that case the Wild could make an emergency call-up.
Yeo is clearly not happy with the hit Spurgeon took from Calgary winger Alex Tanguay 7:57 into the game Thursday. Spurgeon was hit by what Yeo called a "flying elbow."
"His elbow is extended," Yeo said of Tanguay, "and almost over his head ... when it makes contact. So this is twice now we've lost Jared Spurgeon, who is a really underrated player around this league and an incredibly important piece to our lineup. This is twice we've lost him off dirty hits, real bad hits, this year."
The other hit came Dec. 26, when Colorado forward Cody McCleod checked Spurgeon from behind into the boards. Spurgeon missed two games with a lower body injury. McCleod received a 5-minute major and a game-misconduct penalty but was not suspended by the league for the hit.
Thursday Tanguay received a 2-minute penalty for the hit. When asked whether Tanguay deserved further punishment from the league, Yeo said, "They look at it. There is not much we can do. It's their decision."
--Yeo wasn't tipping his hand, but he all but confirmed goaltender Josh Harding, riding a two-game winning streak, would be in the nets in Buffalo. There is still a good chance Niklas Backstrom will play on the trip.
--Darcy Kuemper, one of the top goaltending prospects in the Wild organization, had season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday.