By Brian Stensaas
The tips of my fingers are still coming back to life after spending over an hour inside St. Thomas Arena in Mendota Heights for Wild practice this morning. Mercy, they keep that place chilly frigid igloo-ish.
Fun to see some STA kids wander over and take in the 45-minute on-ice session the Wild had today. The youngsters were pretty tuned in. I can relate. I was a huge hockey fan growing up and would have jumped at any opportunity to see a team practice (We had season tickets to Wisconsin men's hockey and I used to make my parents get to the games early just so I could see team in warm ups and try to get a puck. Actually, I got a goalie stick from Dean Anderson once. He played  just a few years after Chelios and Co. were there.)
Anyway, as for the Minnesota pro team I'm paid to cover and talk about here, they went through a full-ice practice the whole time today. Lots of skating in from the opposite blue line. Lots of shots from the point. Lots of hooting and hollering and stick banging every time Chris Pietrzak-Wegner made a save.
Wait. What? The strength and conditioning coach was playing goal?
Yes. And you can read more about that in tomorrow's paper.
Chris P-W (that's just easier to write ...) was in obviously because of the hip injury Josh Harding suffered last night.
Coach Todd Richards today said that he doesn't have any further information of the severity of Harding's injury, but a call-up will be necessary because Harding is likely out at least 1-2 weeks. If it's Anton Khudobin, here's what the Wild is getting: He's 0-9-1 since November playing down in Houston. We'll stay tuned on that one.
Kim Johnsson was the only Wild player not on the ice today. I'm told, though, that it was just one of those maintenance days. He should be good to go for tomorrow's game against the Blue Jackets.
I'll keep one eye on the computer screen and one on the ole BlackBerry this afternoon and update any news out of Wild camp later on. Otherwise, I'll check in after tomorrow's morning skates.
Remember it's Hockey Day Minnesota tomorrow, so it's a rare 8pm start time.
Here is the full schedule FSN will bring you hockey nuts:
2010 Hockey Day Minnesota Schedule
Time Event Location
9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Hockey Day Minnesota
10:00 a.m.-10:15 a.m. FSN Live Pregame
10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Hopkins vs. Duluth-Marshall Hermantown, Minn.
12:15 p.m.-12:30 p.m. FSN Live Postgame
12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m. Hockey Day Minnesota
1:15 p.m.-1:30 p.m. FSN Live Pregame
1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Eden Prairie vs. Hermantown Hermantown, Minn.
3:30 p.m.-3:45 p.m. FSN Live Postgame
3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Hockey Day Minnesota
4:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Gophers Live Pregame
5:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. University of Minnesota vs. St Cloud State Mariucci Arena
7:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Wild Live Pregame
8:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Minnesota Wild vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Xcel Energy Center
10:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. Wild Live Postgame