By Michael Russo
Good evening from Edmonton, where the Wild’s in town to face the Oilers in its first divisional meeting of the season.
It might have to do without Martin Havlat, who slightly pulled his groin on the first shift of the third period Wednesday night. Havlat rode the bike today, got treatment, and according to coach Todd Richards, “see how it feels [Friday].”
But Havlat didn’t practice today. Either did Petr Sykora, who’s definitely out with a groin, and Marek Zidlicky, who just had a maintenance day and is expected to play, Richards said.
But Richards did say Jaime Sifers might debut. If he plays his normal defenseman position, that means Richards will either sit one of his six D or use seven defensemen.
Richards did say Sifers might play both forward and D, but not sure if he was kidding.
The Wild didn’t call any forwards up today, so if Havlat can’t play, either Sifers will play in his spot or Derek Boogaard will return. Boogaard says he’s ready.
Obviously, Wild needs a better start against the Oil, who have given up 114 shots the last three games. The Wild has amazingly been down 3-zip in three of five games this season.
Richards talked a lot about the Wild’s best players being the best players today, mainly Havlat, Koivu, Burns and Johnsson. All four have struggled and the Wild need them.
Havlat was benched for the second time in three games late in the second period Wednesday.
Talk to you Friday.