Good afternoon from high above the Xcel ice, where the San Jose Sharks are wrapping up their morning skate.
The Sharks, after a slow start, have found their groove, not surprisingly with the immense amount of talent on the roster. They've won four of five, scoring 20 goals in the four wins.
The Wild, like it did against Washington, will need a group effort to shut down San Jose's big guns. It'll have to be the defensemen working in concert with the forwards, and it can't be one line. Every line will wind up having to play the Sharks' top guns.
Chuck Kobasew (groin) will play, starting the game on the right of Andrew Brunette and Mikko Koivu. Cal Clutterbuck will move onto the second line with old man Matt Cullen, who turned 34 today, and Marty Havlat. Rookie Casey Wellman will skate with John Madden and Eric Nystrom on the right side and Colton Gillies will again be with Kyle Brodziak and former Shark Brad Staubitz.
Cam Barker, who's missed the past four games -- the first three with a groin injury -- returns to the lineup and Clayton Stoner is scratched. Coach Todd Richards said he wants to see from Barker "more consistency and him wanting to take a bigger piece of the game, of the minutes." Of course, Niklas Backstrom is the nets.
Great stuff today out of the locker room regarding "Movember." Here's a sample:
As you can imagine, some really funny lines came out of the locker room and can be read in tomorrow's Wild notebook in the Star Tribune. Burns' said his is what "Bruno used to wear in high school in 1965."
Wild players unanimously said Eric Nystrom's is so far the best and Colton Gillies' is so far the worst.
Movember is an annual charity event held during November that engages men to grow Mo’s (slang for moustache) to raise awareness and funds for cancers affecting men. Last season, Wild defenseman Nick Schultz was one of the first NHL players to embrace the cause after the father of one of his closest friends developed prostate cancer and is currently battling against one of the more treatable forms of the disease. A 501(c)3 non-profit, Movember benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG.
Here's the web site
The “Minnesota Wild Mo Bros” have their own fundraising page, accessible on Wild.com/Movember. The Wild is urging fans to visit the fundraising page to donate. The NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer program has donated the first $5,000 to Movember’s Minnesota Wild Mo Bros team. Fans can purchase lower level or club level tickets to any Wild home game from Nov. 17-26 and the team will donate $10 from each ticket purchase to Movember, and enter each buyer into a drawing to win a travel voucher from Sun Country Airlines. The Wild will also take cash donations for Movember at each November game, at the Community Relations Booth at section 124.
In addition, the Wild has partnered with KARE11 to break a Guinness World Record at the Wild vs. Predators game on Nov. 26, for the LARGEST GATHERING OF PEOPLE WITH MOUSTACHES. The Wild is encouraging fans and staff to help by growing their own moustache and participating in this Guinness World Record. The current World Record of 151 “moustachioed men” was established Nov. 28, 2009 by members and fans of the Partick Thistle Football Club in Glasgow, Scotland. The Wild’s World Record attempt will be documented with a photo on the ice of all participants with a real moustache immediately after the Nov. 26 game.
“We're thrilled to have the guys on the WILD and across the NHL support Movember by growing Mo’s,” said Adam Garone, CEO and co-founder of Movember. “These guys will grow moustaches that will serve as the perfect vehicle to prompt important conversations about men's health and prostate cancer. We encourage men across Minnesota to join the WILD and sign up for the campaign at www.movember.com.”
Talk to you tonight.