Opportunity is more than just ice time for Foster

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 20, 2007 - 12:28 AM

ANAHEIM, CALIF. - As if Kurtis Foster didn't have enough pressure replacing top-minute man defenseman Kim Johnsson in the Wild's lineup for Game 5, General Manager Doug Risebrough tossed a little more on, calling Thursday's game "a defining moment for Kurtis."

Foster, 25, has all the tools to be a top defenseman. He's 6-5. He has a tremendous shot. He can be one of the Wild's most physical defenseman.

But Wild brass has been frustrated with inconsistency and a lack of confidence in Foster's game.

"He will deliver the goods in certain games and not in others," coach Jacques Lemaire said. "He's the type of guy that will question his moves all the time, so it's kind of tough to get him on a run because every move he questions.

"Did I make the right pass? Did I get the right shot? It's confidence."

Risebrough challenged Foster on Thursday, saying, "This situation [Thursday] -- now is the time to play to your strengths. These are the moments to show that."

Foster, whose 10 goals last season led all Wild defensemen, scored three this season. He was on top of his game in December until Johnsson, coincidentally, shot a puck off Foster's larynx as he sat on the bench. Foster missed the next nine games, then missed another nine in January because of a sprained knee.

Risebrough gets aggravated that Foster doesn't use his shot more.

"He's got one of the top shots in the league, but there's got to be a lot of them and they've got to be on the net and they've got to be in critical situations, on the power play," Risebrough said. "But to make it in this league, just a good shot isn't enough."

Foster, scratched seven games during the regular season and twice in the playoffs, said: "I don't want to just be a fill-in. I want to stay in every single night. ... I battled with [confidence] in my career early on, but I feel I've really worked hard to try to get away from that."

Not an option

Derek Boogaard has learned a lot of things in his career, but maybe the biggest came from Dave Farrish, the Ducks assistant coach who was Boogaard's first pro coach in Louisiana of the East Coast Hockey League in 2003.

"I can't miss optional skates," Boogaard said, smiling, after skating during the Wild's optional Thursday morning. "I took off an optional skate once. We got in at 8 in the morning. ... I come to the rink [in the afternoon], and [Farrish] pulls me in the office, and says, 'You're a player who can never miss an optional skate for the rest of your career.'

"So today was an optional and I was out there."

The 6-7 Boogaard played 33 games for the IceGators that season, compiling 240 penalty minutes.

"He's worked his tail off to become a good player," Farrish said. "It's tough to teach size like that. He had one thing going for him, and he certainly made the most of it. He's a great kid. He's got a good work ethic. He learned young that the only way he was going to get here is by hard work and nobody was going to do it for him.

"He put a lot of hours in the gym. He's worked hard on his body, his skating has improved, his hockey sense has improved, everything. He's made himself into a good hockey player."

Etc.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:07 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Dallas 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:30 PM
Toronto
San Antonio 7:00 PM
Houston
Miami 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Chicago
Phoenix 8:00 PM
Utah
Sacramento 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Denver 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Dallas 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Colorado
Carolina 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Columbus 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Houston 7:00 PM
Chicago
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close