Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — After each game over the past week or so, Wild winger Jason Zucker has been almost too nervous to open Twitter. While he's been on his nearly unprecedented hot streak — six goals, seven points in three games — his wife, Carly, has been on Twitter fueling the the fire on a joke that has spread around the Twin Cities like wildfire. "He would call me after (a game) and be like, 'What do you tweet tonight?'" Carly Zucker said with a laugh. "It's honestly been hilarious."
PHILADELPHIA—Contrary to what it felt like a few days ago, no, the sky isn't falling on the Minnesota Wild. After a putrid effort in a 5-3 loss to the Boston Bruins at the beginning of the week, the Wild have rattled off three consecutive solid efforts. They return home to the Twin Cities on a two-game winning streak for only the second time this season. It started with coach Bruce Boudreau putting his team through a lengthy 45-minute skate during their Tuesday, Nov. 7, practice that featured players gasping for air by the end of it.
PHILADELPHIA—Marcus Foligno came off the bench like a bat out of hell on his opening shift of the Minnesota Wild's 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, Nov. 9. Foligno skated around, searching for a way to give his team a spark. He proceeded to lay his 6-foot-3, 230-pound frame into an opposing player on three separate occasions before skating back to the bench. "I think it lifts the guys up when I'm out there trying to set the tone," said Foligno, who finished with eight hits. "I think the guys like that and hopefully it gives the team a little spark."
MONTREAL—Lakeville native Charlie Lindgren still recalls sitting in his third-grade classroom, a boy with a dream. "I remember the teacher asking the students, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' " Lindgren said this week. "I always said, 'I want to be an NHL player' without even really thinking about it. I've always believed in myself." A little more than a decade later, Lindgren is living his dream as a member of the NHL's most-storied franchise, the Montreal Canadiens.
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.