Bruce Boudreau said it best.
“We can’t be mediocre, and right now we’re a mediocre team,” the Wild coach said after Thursday’s morning skate, as the team prepared to face the New York Islanders at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild (2-3-2) and coming off a 1-0 home loss to Vancouver, while Islanders (5-3-1) have won three in a row.
“We’ve gotta be better,” Boudreau said. “This is our building.”
Dubnyk to start
Devan Dubnyk will be back in goal after taking the hard-luck loss against Vancouver two days ago.
Dubnyk is 1-3-1 with a 3.25 goals against average. Alex Stalock, who won Saturday’s game at Calgary, is 1-0-1 with a 2.90 goals against.
Stalock might be a candidate to start again Saturday, when two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh comes to St. Paul.
Niederreiter tests sprained ankle
Nino Niederreiter, out since Oct. 12 with a high left ankle sprain, took part in Thursday’s optional morning skate.
“I think I'm pretty close [to returning to game action],” Niederreiter said. “I mean today I did almost a full stop and felt pretty comfortable with it. It's just a matter of getting the trust back and knowing that it's going to hold up.”
Niederreiter said he plans to practice with the team again Friday. That’ll be another test.
Asked if he might be able to play Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg, Niederreiter said, “We will see. Possibility.”
The Wild recalled forward Zack Mitchell to fill the roster spot cleared when it sent Justin Kloos back to Iowa after Tuesday's game. Mitchell has appeared in three games for the Wild this season, notching one point, an assist.