Update: Shane Hnidy did not go on the trip. Brent Burns and Cal Clutterbuck did. Questionable for game vs. Wings. Sifers on the flight.

Slim pickings down at St. Thomas Academy this morning as the Wild "prepares" for back-to-back road games at Detroit and Buffalo.

Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding were in goal, with Andrew Brunette, James Sheppard, Chuck Kobasew, Nick Schultz, Derek Boogaard, Robbie Earl and John Scott practicing with assistant Dave Barr and goalie coach Bob Mason running the practice.

Todd Richards did not show.

So in order, the Wild had an awful game Friday in Edmonton, light practice Saturday, 5-2 loss to Calgary Sunday, an optional practice Monday, awful game Tuesday against Florida, optional practice Wednesday and a planned day off this coming Saturday.

I'd say it's no wonder the Wild can't get out of its zone or generate a forecheck these days.

I don't know, but if it were me, after a 9-shot regulation performance and 11-shot blown 2-goal lead and loss in a must-win, I'd put the guys on the ice as a team today and practice them.

This is the most important time of the year, and this is the practice schedule for the week? And it's not like this team's in the midst of a grueling schedule. There were 17 days off for the Olympics.

Petr Kalus, after playing 6:41 in his Wild debut, was sent back to AHL Houston as Derek Boogaard comes off his two-game suspension. With Shane Hnidy (leg) and Brent Burns (hip) hurt, Jaime Sifers was recalled.

No word yet from the Wild if Burns, Hnidy and injured Cal Clutterbuck will all miss the two-game trip to Detroit and Buffalo. The team leaves this afternoon.

 

I'll leave you with this final thought. I was thinking about this on the way home last night, and it's something I harped on a lot during the midseason. I agree you probably had to pick one or the other between he and Marek Zidlicky because of cap space, but the Wild will sorely miss Kim Johnsson.

For all you Johnsson critics, say what you want about his lack of points, uselessness in the offensive zone and at times turnovers, but Johnsson got the breakout, the transition and the forecheck going.

He logged almost half the game, and the Wild will miss his mobility, his ability to get the puck out of trouble, the ability to make the first pass and the ability to sometimes single-handedly get the puck into the offensive zone on entries.

I don't think it's a fluke that in four games since the break, the Wild had trouble getting out of its zone and putting together any semblance of a forecheck.

Chip Scoggins will be on the trip to Detroit and Buffalo, so follow him on twitter and on this blog. I'll update this blog when there's word if any of the injured guys are going on the trip.

"Russo Radio" is tonight (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. on KSTP am-1500.

Oh, and Go Minnetonka!