Bouchard's first skate with Wild features finesse of old

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 18, 2011 - 11:48 PM
hide

Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Pierre-Marc Bouchard's training camp debut was delayed a day because of a tight hamstring, but the slick playmaker was able to take part in Sunday's scrimmage.

Bouchard looked like the Bouchard of old, skating elusively through traffic, stickhandling by defenders and setting up play after play. Best yet, he showed immediate chemistry with potential linemates Guillaume Latendresse and Matt Cullen.

The line spent the majority of the scrimmage buzzing the offensive zone and will make its exhibition debut Tuesday in Edmonton.

"I was a little mad to miss the first day [Saturday]," Bouchard said. "I was waiting for that first day when I'm healthy for once and able to be part of training camp."

After missing all but one game in 2009-10, Bouchard missed training camp last September because of postconcussion syndrome and didn't return until Dec. 1. But even then, Bouchard used the year to rediscover his timing, game and fitness.

This summer, for the first time in basically three, Bouchard was able to get back to his normal offseason routine. He has come to camp looking and feeling great.

"The offseason was a lot more fun," said Bouchard, 27. "I was able to go through my workouts and live my normal life, and get married. ... For me, it's an important training camp this year."

If the Wild can find a productive second line behind a potential first line of Devin Setoguchi, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley, it would be quite the coup.

Consider: Latendresse played 11 games last year but scored 25 goals in 2009-10. Despite having speed and skill, Cullen never found a consistent home on a line in his first year with the Wild. Proof perhaps was that he finished 13th on the team with 14 even-strength points. And Bouchard scored 12 goals and 38 points in 59 games but is the fourth-leading scorer in Wild history.

So there's potential, and Sunday at least they showed flashes despite being kept off the scoreboard.

"It's only the first day, so I don't want to get too excited, but it's a good start," Bouchard said. "I hope we can click together."

Coach Mike Yeo was intrigued by what he saw.

"I feel if they get a little bit more used to our system and even have a little bit more patience in the offensive zone, then more creativity, more offense will come from that," Yeo said. "But overall, I thought they had the puck on their stick a lot. Both them and Mikko's line, they haven't been getting on the board, but there's a lot of near misses. ...

"A week from now, I expect those near misses to be capitalized on."

Ice time for Hendry

Two solid scrimmages earned former Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Jordan Hendry a spot in Tuesday's exhibition lineup, Yeo said.

Hendry, who has played 129 NHL games, tore his left ACL Feb. 29 after being checked by Phoenix's Shane Doan. Unable to earn a contract this summer, Hendry is on a tryout trying to crack the Wild's nearly filled blue line.

If healthy, Nick Schultz, Marek Zidlicky, Greg Zanon, Mike Lundin, Jared Spurgeon and Clayton Stoner should earn jobs on a seven-, maybe eight-man blue line.

Hendry said his knee is 100 percent. "I'm welcoming the challenge," he added. "I think there's maybe some opportunity here on the back end. I want to make the staff make a hard decision on me."

Hendry said he's been made no promises by GM Chuck Fletcher regarding a contract.

"That's understandable, and I think I should come to camp and prove and show the team that my knee's good to go," Hendry said.

Yeo compared Hendry to simple, not-flashy Lundin, the former Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman who signed with the Wild in July, saying both are effective when they go unnoticed.

"Good mobility, solid defender, smart player and a good first pass," Yeo said of Hendry.

Etc.

• Goalie Niklas Backstrom (knee) practiced for a second consecutive day Sunday but was held out of his second scrimmage. "We're just making sure we're not pushing him too hard right now," Yeo said.

• The rest of the lineup for Edmonton: Forwards: Darroll Powe-Kyle Brodziak-Cal Clutterbuck; Brett Bulmer-Warren Peters-Jed Ortmeyer, and Matt Kassian-David McIntyre-Jarod Palmer; defensemen: Clayton Stoner-Jared Spurgeon and Justin Falk-Nate Prosser. Tyler Cuma will travel, while Josh Harding and Matt Hackett will split time in goal.

• Sitting behind a number of fans wearing Boogaard No. 24 jerseys, Derek Boogaard's father, Len, and youngest brother, Aaron, took in Sunday's scrimmage. Boogaard died May 13. Aaron Boogaard, a former Wild draft pick, is friends with several Wild players and was a teammate of Jeff Taffe, who signed with the Wild in July, in Wilkes-Barre.

• Heatley scored the lone scrimmage goal Sunday on a penalty shot.

  • WILD NOTES

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland - WP: J. Tomlin 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: S. Downs 2
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wada 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Gonzales 13
Los Angeles - LP: J. Wright 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Peavy 3
Oakland - LP: J. Samardzija 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: Y. Herrera 2
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 3 FINAL
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 FINAL
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 37 FINAL
Oklahoma State 31
(14) Wisconsin 24 FINAL
(13) LSU 28
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 13 FINAL
(3) Oregon 62
(25) Washington 17 FINAL
Hawaii 16
Utah State 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
San Jose 1
Portland 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
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: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close