The Ice Sheet: Wild practice notes - KMSP-TV

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The Ice Sheet: Wild practice notes

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The Wild players took to the ice Monday afternoon to applause and chants of "thank you" and "welcome back" from team employees who perched in the stands at Xcel Energy Center.

With the tone by players that of apologetic to the fans, the team went to work preparing for a shortened season that will allow no room for error.

Several players were absent including captain Mikko Koivu and assistant captain Danny Heatley as they make their way back from Eurpoe. Rookie Mikael Granlund looks to be the second line center and could join the team tomorrow.

The workout not technically called a "practice" was up-tempo with the majority of the work being done in transition to help find players legs early.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard skated and said following the session that he feels good and is confident and ready to go through the next step to pass NHL concussion testing. He has been symptom free for a full month and said needs scrimmaging to see how his body will react.

New defenseman Ryan Suter was busy getting acquainted with d-mate Jared Spurgeon who according to Suter was directing as he went through the hour plus practice. Suter had been working out with his dads AAA midget team in Wisconsin.

Forward Devin Setoguchi loved the high tempo of the skate and really feels like there is a buzz surrounding this team.

Goaltender Niklas Backstrom sees an intense 10 days ahead as the team prepares for the opening night which will most likely be January 19th as part of Hockey Day Minnesota.

No player would answer the question about if the deal finalized on Sunday morning was fair or good. To a man, the answer was they are just hapy to be back.

Near Casualty:

Backstrom took a high shot off the mask and dropped to the ice. The veteran goalie shook it off and went back to work. Welcome back!

Quotable:

"It was weird. In the summer you wear the green pants and the gloves then you put on the sweater today it was definitely a different feeling but also an exciting feeling." – Wild defenseman Ryan Suter

Follow me on Twitter @DougErlien

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