The Wild didn't practice today, so injury updates will have to wait most likely until the morning skate, but coach Mike Yeo wasn't confident that Jonas Brodin would be able to play against the San Jose Sharks and Erik Haula might.
As reported in today's paper, the Wild is concerned Brodin could be longer. As for Haula, Yeo said yesterday that he wasn't diagnosed with a concussion, but the team wanted to be cautious because of how often concussed players show symptoms a few days later. The Wild especially has experience with that.
John Moore, the New York Rangers defenseman who struck Haula on Monday with an illegal check to the head in the second period, was suspended five games today by the NHL. He had an in-person hearing and could have been suspended more than five games, but the NHL's Department of Player Safety gave him five games. That number means Moore won't be able to appeal the suspension to a neutral arbitrator. Not saying that's why he got five, just pointing out the significance of it being less than six.
The gist of the video: After Haula snaps a shot on net as Moore closes in, Moore drives his shoulder into Haula. The initial contact, the league says, was with Haula's shoulder, but the main point of contact on the hit was Haula's head.
Stephane Quintal notes Haula is eligible to be checked here, that the hit wasn't late, but if Moore's to render this extremently difficult check, "his timing and angle of approach must ensure that he hits squarely through the body and that Haula's head is not the main point of contact. Moore does neither. Haula’s head absorbs the brunt of Moore’s shoulder."
Moore, a repeat offender, loses $51,859.75 in salary because his lost money is based on 5, 82 game checks rather than 5 days of salary.
In the meantime, the Wild opens a three-game homestand against Brent Burns, the NHL's leading scorer among defensemen (yeah, he's a blue-liner again), and the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.
I'll be on KFAN live from the penalty box from 9:55 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Thursday and on Fox Sports North Plus Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and during the first intermission.
Some highlights from my preview box:
-- The Wild has outshot all eight opponents this season (274-181), averaging the second-most shots per game (34.2) and allowing the fewest (22.6).
-- D Marco Scandella, who scored his third career winning goal Tuesday, is tied with D Ryan Suter for first on the team with a plus-8. Scandella has been an even or better in every game.
-- C Ryan Carter, a White Bear Lake native, has an assist in five of the past six games and leads the Wild with 16 hits. LW Jason Zucker has three goals and an assist in the past three games.
-- G Darcy Kuemper will probably get a chance to bounce back after allowing five goals in the third period Monday at the Rangers.
-- The Wild’s power play is 0 for 26 and has gone eight straight games without a power-play goal, which is tied for the team record according to the Elias Sports Bureau (five times).
-- The Wild has been shorthanded the fewest times in the NHL (22), has the NHL’s third-best penalty kill (90.9 percent) and is tied for the second-fewest minor penalties (29).
-- According to Elias, last night's 4-3 win over Boston marked just the third time in Wild history the team has won a game in regulation time when trailing by two goals in the third period. The other such occasions: Jan. 16, 2004 vs. PIT (trailed 2-0 and won 4-2) and Dec. 18, 2007 vs. NSH (trailed 2-0 and won 3-2). So, first time on the road.
-- I wrote an article for Thursday's paper on the Wild's ongoing attempt to spark offense from Mikko Koivu and goals from Thomas Vanek, so give that a read.