Bruce Boudreau was admittedly in a cranky mood this morning because "we gave up a point" last night in Jersey.
He brought the team down to Barclays Center for a video session and optional skate and expects a bounceback tonight against the New York Islanders (5 p.m. CT puck drop).
Same lineup tonight with the exception of Darcy Kuemper getting the start.
Jared Spurgeon and Erik Haula will miss their second game in a row. Haula is in a walking boot, and frankly, I've seen him wearing it since the home opener. He blocked a shot late in that game.
If he's out an extended period of time, that's a significant loss for the Wild.
There could be tweaked lines tonight. We'll see in warmups. I tweeted minutes into the game that Chris Stewart was at the start of a real tough game, and Boudreau eventually benched him and made clear after it was not good enough.
He has two hits in five games and one scoring chance (the goal).
"Guys aren’t always going to be on top of their games," Boudreau said. "I think sometimes change is good too. We will see as we talk this afternoon."
Boudreau gave a video tutorial today to Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivu on last night's defensive-zone mistake that led to the overtime winner.
The mistake was Suter's, but as I mentioned on last night's blog, I think Suter got all messed up because of Koivu crossing behind him on the play.
"I think they were both thinking different thoughts when we were talking about it this morning," Boudreau said. "Because we’ve had a lack of overtime … maybe they didn’t understand what message I was trying to get through. I showed them the clip this morning and again said, ‘This is what we do when we’re playing against another team in overtime.’ So get to it. We can’t have adlibbing."
Boudreau says he thinks nearly being scratched against Toronto woke up Matt Dumba, who had four shot attempts last night and five hits. He ended up playing vs. the Leafs because Marco Scandella was sick.
"I think the fact he was supposed to sit out one game and go back in could be the Wally Pipp syndrome," Dumba said. "It might have opened his eyes for him to start playing the way he’s capable of playing."
Dumba said it did.
"I didn't like it," he said. "I took it in a way that if I got back in the lineup I was never going to let that happen again. That's the kind of motivation that I have. Just pride as a player. I hold myself to a higher standard. Just what the be the best I can for my teammates."
Dumba said the added responsibility of playing with Suter was also motivation.
"It's what I've been working for," he said. "It [stinks] that it had to come this way with Jared being out of the lineup. He's a guy that we love having back there. He's a great player for us. I've got to be at my best. It's big shoes to fill. It's exciting know that. We have lots of great defensemen back here so everyone is pulling their weight."
Nino Niederreiter has five shots in five games. He is averaging 12 minutes, 18 seconds a game, which ranks 17th on the team.
"Not enough. Not enough," Boudreau said of the left wing's shot total. "Granted he hasn’t played a lot of minutes, probably averaged 10 ½ minutes, 11 minutes a game. He’s a big, strong guy with a good shot. He’s got to get more."
Does he require more ice time, maybe a look with Koivu and Mikael Granlund?
"I don’t think you get anything for free in this league," Boudreau said. "Hopefully he’ll earn them. I thought he was better last night than he was the previous night, which is good. So he might get a few more minutes tonight."
Niederreiter, drafted originally by the Islanders, said, "I just have to find a way to get my shot off more often and try to crash the net more often. I feel like last night I definitely start in the right direction again."
Asked if he feels the short training camp didn't allow him the chance to show his stuff to the coaches, Niederreiter said, "It definitely has something to do with the whole World Cup situation. I haven’t been here as long. Obviously guys have been working on the power play groups in training camp, so it’s just a matter of time ‘til I get a chance to step in.
"Obviously for myself it definitely was a great experience and … going farther than nobody expected us to do so well. But at the end of the day, I wasn’t here for the main part of the training camp, so it would have been a good opportunity to be in different kind of lines and see what I’m capable of too."
Talk to you tonight.