Afternoon from Denver. I'm about to walk back to the Pepsi Center for tonight's game, but some quick updates:
-- Thoughts and prayers with Chuck Kobasew and his family. I've been keeping this under wraps for a month, but his mother has been sick and this morning he was granted a leave of absence from the team to be with her. He flew home to Vancouver and the Wild has told him to take as much time as he needs. Kobasew was with the Wild in Denver for the two-game trip at the time because he was close to returning from a groin injury.
-- Clayton Stoner has an upper body injury. Coach Todd Richards didn't think the injury occurred in the Jordin Tootoo fight and he did not yet have a timetable as to how long the defenseman will be out. Justin Falk plays in Stoner's place tonight. No updates on Pierre-Marc Bouchard. He continues to practice daily and travel with the team. Richards said Bouchard's still "on pause."
-- This means the Wild has 18 skaters tonight in Colorado, just enough to dress four lines of forwards and three defense pairs. If the Wild gets out of tonight unscathed, it might go with the same lineup in Calgary. However, it'll reassess the lineup after the game and may call up a few players just in case for Monday's game in Calgary. Obviously if somebody got sick or hurt Monday morning, it'd be difficult to get somebody up to Calgary last-second. So I'd think the Wild makes some roster moves Sunday regardless of what happens tonight.
Lines to start tonight's game:
Richards said Cullen's been moved to the left side in an effort to get him going offensively. For that to happen, they needed a center to move up (Brodziak), which is why Nystrom's moved from the left wing to the unnatural center position on the fourth line.
Talk to you tonight, and again, all the best for Chuck Kobasew, his mom and entire family.