Hi, I almost forgot to write this postgame blog.
Anyhow, here is my gamer from the Wild's 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center. A notebook, including a little ditty on Mikko Koivu's scoring struggles, should be up soon, too.
Something I didn't have a chance to use after Friday's practice were these quotes from forward Chris Stewart. I talked to him about the recent trend of healthy scratch players coming back and having great games.
Stewart said players shouldn't ever get too comfortable, so responding to being passed over with positive play shows the coach the player cares and isn't happy about being left out.
"This is a performance-based industry, so you know you get judged off your performance," Stewart said. "I think when you do get healthy scratched, you're more than likely not going to be able to argue it. ... You know when you have a bad game, and you know when you have a good game. So I think the more good games you can have and just kind of make that decision as hard on them as possible."
Matt Cullen started the streak when scratched Dec. 8 at Anaheim, playing well against San Jose on Dec. 10 and scoring his 250th NHL goal against Calgary on Dec. 12. The Stewart, scratched at San Jose, scored in the shootout against Calgary. Tyler Ennis experienced his first healthy scratch against Calgary but then scored against Toronto on Dec. 14.
"I don't want to say healthy scratches lead to good games. I just think internal competition is healthy and good for the team," Stewart said. "Sometimes, going and watching from the press box and seeing firsthand is, again, that refresh is, I think that definitely helps. But I mean, as veteran guys, I think you want to be a staple in the lineup. You don't want to get caught up in that game. But it's kind of out of your hands. You know, if you are out, there's not time to dwell on that and be a bad teammate. You know, there's just a lot of hockey coming up, and you know when you're called upon, you've just got to do it."
Marcus Foligno was the odd man out against Toronto but didn't continue the trend Saturday against Edmonton. So maybe Zack Mitchell, who sat Saturday, will have a chance to pick it up again 6 p.m. Sunday at Chicago.
OK, so, I'll be back between Christmas and New Year, covering the Dallas and Nashville games. Have a happy holidays, y'all.