The Wild spent a lot of practice time working on power plays at Xcel this morning. That unit, going into Tuesday night’s game at Nashville, is an NHL-worst on the road (10.2 percent) and hasn’t scored in the past nine road games (despite going 7-1-1). The Wild’s PP is 28th in the league and 3-for-35 in the past 15 games overall.
Chris Miller reporting today, just recalled from Orlando of the National Vacation League. Russo is in Nashville early, apparently to try out for backing vocals on the Patsy Cline revue, so I spent some quality time here in St. Paul wondering who was in charge of handing out coffee. Turns out, it’s bring your own. Who knew?
First, an injury report. Nate Prosser took a hip check in Saturday’s victory at St. Louis and is week-to-week. Coach Mike Yeo says it’s typically a four-week injury (lower body). Christian Folin will replace Prosser on D.
Marco Scandella (oblique) practiced for the first time in a while. He won’t travel to Nashville, but could play by the weekend, he hopes. Ryan Carter (upper body) practiced as well. He has been out since Feb. 9 and is likely to be out another week or so, reading between the lines.
Yeo on Nashville: “Another good test for us. You look at what they’ve done all season long as far as the level of play, the consistency in their game. I know the last game [against the Wild] wasn’t a great outcome for them, but for 40 minutes of that game, they were clearly the better team.”
The Predators have lost eight of 10, a string of futility the Wild started.
Matt Dumba stays on the first power-play unit, adding a strong right-point shot. Ryan Suter is the other point, with Jason Pominville moving up front with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. Thomas Vanek stays on the second unit with Mikael Granlund and Chris Stewart up front, and Jonas Brodin and Jared Spurgeon on the points.
“[Dumba’s] shot’s the biggest thing, he’s a threat over there,” Yeo said. “We do like Pommer in the middle of the ice as well, but we also feel there’s a lot of strength on our other unit as well. The ice time will be equal, and both will be able to get out there and show what they can do.”
More on the intricacies of the power play in tomorrow’s paper.
Devan Dubnyk makes his 29th consecutive start in goal, 28th for the Wild. Said he of the Predators: “Possible first round opponent for us, some any time we have an opportunity to go in and feel good about ourselves, it’s a big step. “
Scandella on his time away from action: “Been watching 'Sons of Anarchy,' weather has been nice in Minnesota, so I’ve been going for walks, getting away from the game mentally. But it was great to get back with the boys.”
No “Sons” for Carter, who has two daughters: “A lot of daddy time, so that’s been the silver lining, hanging out with the girls a little more than usual.”
Unlike Russo, I have no radio appearances or podcasts to promote, just have to get back to the office to pack up for our big move to the Cappella Tower. Maybe there’ll be leftover cake from Sid’s 95th birthday, which he celebrated last night by working.