Dane Mizutani / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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.
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.