The Wild resumes preseason play Saturday against Winnipeg at Xcel Energy Center, its first home game of the fall. Coach Mike Yeo unveiled a lineup Friday that is heavy on the big names, for two reasons: he wants to keep the home fans happy, and he wants his veterans to get the repetitions they need to get up to speed.
There are two notable exceptions. Thomas Vanek, whom Yeo said was "bumped'' in Thursday's overtime loss at Pittsburgh, was too sore to practice Friday. Yeo was vague about the injury but said it is "basically a bruise''; both he and Ballard probably could have practiced, Yeo added, but he decided it was prudent to give them the day off. Ballard has lower-body soreness. Both originally were scheduled to play Saturday but will rest instead.
F--Parise, Granlund, Pominville, Niederreiter, Koivu, Coyle, Cooke, Haula, Fontaine, Brodziak, Keranen, Rechlicz
D--Suter, Brodin, Scandella, Spurgeon, Olofsson, Dumba
Yeo said Backstrom will play the entire game.
During the second of Friday's two practice sessions, technicians tested the massive new scoreboard by running highlights from last season. Several players sat on the bench and were mesmerized, watching themselves at larger than life-size. It really is a behemoth structure. The new bells and whistles also include upgraded ribbon boards and outdoor display boards, and the lighthouse structures on the corners are wrapped with lighted displays as well.
Here is Winnipeg's anticipated lineup courtesy of the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe:
Jets have this lineup with one D to be scratched
Pardy-Ellerby (or Clitsome)
Pavelec (Taylor backs up, on call)