Your Friday report from the Thrashers morning skate here in St. Paul.
Defenseman Arturs Kulda, called up yesterday, is will make his NHL debut tonight. When I asked coach John Anderson if Kulda would play tonight in place of the injured Mark Popovic, he said “the chances are 100 percent.”
He said Kulda is 100 percent and Popovic, who appears to have a shoulder injury, is not. Hence the decision to go with Kulda. Friday’s practice was the first for Kulda, who got the call he was heading to the NHL at midnight Wednesday. He was on an 8 a.m. flight for Minnesota on Thursday. He arrived but his equipment did not.
Popovic did take part in the morning skate.
Nik Antropov, who missed yesterday’s practice, was on the ice. Anderson told me yesterday to expect Antropov to miss a practice a week for the rest of the season as he deals with nagging hip injury.
Johan Hedberg will start in goal tonight, with a new goalie mask that has arrived after he broke one earlier this season. Ondrej Pavelec gets the start Saturday in Chicago.
It looks like Slava Kozlov will be the healthy scratch tonight. Todd White is back in Minnesota, where he played for two seasons.