Evening from Xcel Energy Center, where for some reason I’m still at following this morning’s practice.
Just slow moving with everything I’m trying to accomplish today.
1. In many, many years covering the league, I saw one of the funniest things I have ever seen in a practice today.
During a 2-on-2 battle drill, Matt Cooke destroyed Mikko Koivu with a check. I was actually on the phone with my editor, Chris Miller, at the time and I interrupted the conversation because I was so flabbergasted and taken aback.
Koivu scraped himself off the ice and gave Cooke a “What the %&#@!!! are you doing?!?!” look and barked a couple things at him in Finnish, I assume. Cooke was hysterically laughing afterward.
Why was this all so funny?????
Because Koivu was Cooke’s 2-on-2 TEAMMATE!!!
See, Cooke was wearing a white sweater. Koivu was wearing a green sweater. So was Ryan Suter, who was defending Cooke and Koivu. So Cooke saw the green sweater color of Koivu, mistakenly thought it was Suter, and kaboom!!!
“That’s his explanation anyways,” Koivu said, rolling his eyes, in the locker room afterward.
OK, maybe you had to be there to find the humor in all this, but it brought some levity to the team after a 7-1 loss two nights after.
2. I mentioned the whole Bryan Allen waiver thing on the previous blog, so check that out. Just don’t see it, but we shall see. Used to be a good player, but he’s not the same and makes some bigtime $$$.
3. Mikael Granlund skated on his own today after practice largely just to keep up his fitness as he recovers from wrist surgery. He’s still hoping to come back later this month and is wearing a soft cast.
By the way, I have been asked a bunch on Twitter why Granlund tapes his blades in black in the first two periods and white in the third. I finally remembered to ask him today, and guess what, there’s no rhyme or reason. He said it’s something he started doing in Finland, so it’s now a superstition, so he just does it.
4. I talked to Stu Bickel today about the team-record 39 penalty minutes (37 during the one second-period incident in Dallas) today. I asked him about Trevor Daley not getting called for the clearest third-man-in penalty in history. He is literally holding Bickel's arms as Jason Demers punches him. The evidence is the welt to the left of Bickel's left eye today. Yet, Daley didn't get a single penalty minute.
Photo courtesy of @lafrinier on Twitter.
“You could over the video and say what you want about the penalties,” Bickel said. “I think it’s pretty obvious if you just watch the video.”
5. Talking points out of today’s practice: 2-1 loss, 7-1 loss, they’re both the same thing – two points lost in the standings, so don’t dwell on it, fix the problems and don’t let it filter into the San Jose game.
We’ll see Tuesday if that’s easier said than done.
The Wild has to get its act together. I’m not going to rehash everything I put in my main article for Tuesday, but the highlights from today:
“It sure does feel like we could be in trouble,” Ryan Suter said. “But it’s up to us. We control it. That’s a good thing to have. There’s not many problems in life that you can control.”
Suter knows he’s not on top of his game and talked a lot about that today, and that’s in Tuesday’s article.
Coach Mike Yeo said, “We have to move on. It’s as simple as that. It’s very frustrating and disappointing to lose a game like that, but to sit around and dwell on it the next couple days is certainly not going to help us for [Tuesday].
“Too bad last game ended the way it did because there’s been a lot of positives lately. It’s easy to sit here and look at that one game, and I’m not a guy to make excuses, but I’m a realist too, and I know that three games in three different cities with travel against a team that was well-rested sitting there waiting for us, that had an effect. There’s no question that we weren’t on top of our game, we didn’t have the pace we needed in that game, but there’s been a lot of positives lately, so we have to make sure we throw that one in the garbage and we have an opportunity now with a homestand. They’re all against good teams granted, so it’ll be a good test. But we just have to make sure we take care of what we can control.”
Again, please read Tuesday's paper for the rest of the quotes on turning the page from Saturday, etc., and a story on Keith Ballard. Talk to you after Tuesday’s morning skate.