Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
TORONTO — Wild starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk woke up on Wednesday morning, Nov. 8, to a text from backup goaltender Alex Stalock. "I thought it was a little strange that he was texting me first thing," Dubnyk said with a laugh. "I saw him last night, so I didn't know why he wanted to talk so early. And then I opened it up."
TORONTO — A couple weeks after hoping "a little fun" during practice would snap his team out of its early-season malaise, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau shifted to a new tactic, skating his team into the ice during Tuesday's practice. Asked what made him change his tactics, the 62-year-old coach turned the page to Parenting 101.
BOSTON — Like he has countless times throughout his career, Jason Zucker hurriedly packed his bags on Sunday night before saying his goodbyes and rushing out of the house. "It was probably the most different departure (of my career)," Zucker said. "It was a little bit tougher. As soon as I got in the car it was weird." It was weird because of what Zucker was leaving behind.
ST. PAUL—After two solid games this week, Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson was relegated to watching the team's Saturday, Nov. 4, game against the rival Chicago Blackhawks from the press box. Such is life for the extra blue liner on a team filled with depth. Olofsson has officially played in six games this season, though the past two were by far his best. "I thought I played simple and worried about defense and built a strong foundation to start on since I haven't been playing for a little bit," Olofsson said. "I want to build on that."
ST. PAUL—It doesn't take much to get Wild coach Bruce Boudreau going when talking about the Chicago Blackhawks. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that the 62-year-old coach is looking at Saturday's match-up as a potential turning point for the Wild. "I think it's really important," Boudreau said. "It's our biggest game of the year." And not only because the Blackhawks are in town.
Before Thursday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, a reporter asked Wild coach Bruce Boudreau what 20-year veteran Matt Cullen brings to the team. He effectively summed it up in one word. “Experience,” Boudreau said. “He’s been through it all.
ST. PAUL — A couple of weeks after betting on himself, saying there was "no question" he belonged in the NHL, Wild defenseman Mike Reilly is starting to prove it. Reilly has four points in eight games this season, and more importantly, hasn't looked out of place, which wasn't always the case early in his career. "I'm definitely a full-time guy now," Reilly said a couple weeks ago. "I definitely believe that, and I definitely can make an impact and help this team win."
ST. PAUL — Less than a month into the season, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau seems to have more confidence in backup goaltender Alex Stalock than he did in Darcy Kuemper, last year's backup. With starter Devan Dubnyk coming off back-to-back wins — including a 2-1 victory over the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night — Boudreau is giving him the night off Tuesday, Oct. 31, and going with Stalock in the net against the Winnipeg Jets at the Xcel Energy Center.
ST. PAUL — After missing the past six games with a high ankle sprain, Wild winger Nino Niederreiter hinted he could be back on the ice for Tuesday's game against the rival Winnipeg Jets. "It could be," Niederreiter said with a smile. Coach Bruce Boudreau refused to tip his hand after practice on Monday, Oct. 30, calling the status of the 25-year-old from Switzerland "a game-time decision."
BLOOMINGTON, Minn.—With the second half of the Vikings' game in London well underway, more than 2,500 enthusiastic fans packed Bloomington Ice Garden to the rafters Sunday, Oct. 29, to watch the suddenly hot Minnesota Wild practice. The overflow crowd brought a smile to coach Bruce Boudreau's face. "I love it when there's a lot of people watching hockey," he said. "Especially when football is on."