Russo back. Sorry for the lame blogging today. I am under the weather and sedated
Scary incident tonight when Martin Skoula and Dylan Hunter were in a stick battle as they cut through the crease. Skoula’s blade squeezed through Josh Harding’s cat eyehole. He threw off his helmet and went down in visible pain, or maybe panic, because of where that stick clipped.
He was taken to a local hospital for precautionary measures, and the Wild is saying he has a right eye abrasion.
I was talking to a couple Wild scratched players afterward up here in the press box, and they say that’s why the cat eye helmet is not permitted in college and juniors. Remember, a few years back, a puck actually got lodged in Brian Boucher’s mask.
Brent Burns (elbow surgery) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard (back) made their preseason debuts tonight. Burns scored a shorthanded goal, which became the winning goal when Andrej Sekera scored two clicks left. Bouchard had a marvelous assist on an Owen Nolan redirection, one of those shot passes to Nolan at the side of the net.
Burns’ shorthanded goal was funny. He wasn’t supposed to be on the ice, but the referee made him stay after a long line change. So the Wild had three defensemen on the ice — Burns, Skoula and Erik Reitz. Mikko Koivu was the lone forward.
So Burns played forward at the other side, poked a Buffalo pass by Jason Pominville and out of the zone. It created a 2-on-1 with Koivu, but Burns’ centering feed deflected in off veteran Teppo “Hello” Numminen. (Seinfeld’s funny).
OK, I really have to go sleep; I have an early-morning flight to Columbus in the morning. Stencils will update you after practice.
By the way, here’s yet another Tyler Cuma note I had to trim out of second edition:
Lemaire continues to sing the praises of 18-year-old defenseman Tyler Cuma, who got a third straight preseason game Wednesday.
The coach says this training camp will go a long way toward giving Cuma confidence this season back in the Ontario Hockey League, but more importantly, in future training camps for the Wild.
“This kid knows the game,” Lemaire said. “You can see it all the time. He’s always in good position. He’s got a natural instinct for the game. Good skater, mobile, good with the puck.
“He needs to grow up a bit, be stronger, but you know what’s a great sign? The more he plays, he keeps playing well.”