The Wild looks to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time in five weeks when the Boston Bruins come to Xcel Energy Center. Goalie Niklas Backstrom feels good enough to start his second game in two nights.
With Darcy Kuemper sidelined because of illness, the Wild is bringing John Curry up from Iowa of the AHL to back up goalie Niklas Backstrom Wednesday night against Boston. Curry played near the end of last season for the Wild.
Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd returned to practice today, but the Vikings were without five other starters, including two new additions to the injury report.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph (knee/ankle) and nose tackle Linval Joseph (illness) did not practice today. Nor did outside linebacker Anthony Barr (knee), safety Robert Blanton (knee/ankle) or left guard Charlie Johnson (ankle), all three of whom sat out Sunday’s loss to the Lions.
Wide receiver Greg Jennings (hamstring), running back Matt Asiata (foot) and defensive end Brian Robison (ankle) were all limited.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes (wrist) and safety Andrew Sendejo (thumb) were listed as full participants on the injury report.
Floyd, meanwhile, was limited, but his presence at practice this early in the week gives hope that he might be able to return to the field — and play four quarters — this weekend against the Dolphins.
Floyd had been playing really well before banging knees with a teammate in practice a few weeks ago. He played but couldn’t finish the wins over the Panthers and Jets before the team decided to hold him out of practice last week and the Lions game as well.
The second-year defensive tackle said being sidelined was tough because he was playing well, starting to live up to the first-round expectations after waiting in the wings as a reserve last season.
“Frustration is an understatement for the past few weeks,” Floyd said. “But what can I do? My body is what keeps me going and when it tells me to stop, sometimes you’ve just got to listen.”
Floyd was asked by another reporter if he has talked through the frustration with anyone.
“I’m my own man,” he said, laughing. “So sometimes you’ve got to talk to yourself.”
(Just don’t do it in public, OK, Sharrif? People will look at you funny if you do that.)
One more practice tidbit for you that I couldn’t get in tomorrow’s notebook: The Vikings have opened the doors to their inside practice facility to let the cold air in to prepare for recent outdoor games. Now, to prepare for the trip down to Miami, they’ll turn up the heat in there.
“Yeah, it will be 80 degrees,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “Not sunny, but it will be 80 degrees.”
I don’t think the temperature got up that high in there today, so I’m not going to show up in a tanktop tomorrow. But it was noticeably warmer than it usually is on days when they keep the doors closed.