Wild notes: Fontaine growing into role

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 27, 2014 - 8:45 AM
hide

Justin Fontaine of the Wild went airborne after colliding with Nick Holden of the Avalanche in Saturday night’s game.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Justin Fontaine has learned a ton during his rookie season.

On the ice, the Wild winger’s game continues to grow, and he has played virtually every role, from being a top-6 forward to a fourth-liner to being a shutdown guy on the third line during Games 3 and 4 of the playoffs in St. Paul.

Off the ice, he has learned that sometimes it’s the young guy squeezed from the lineup rather than the veteran.

“It’s my first year, and we’ve got a lot of depth up front, so it’s just a matter of knowing your place and staying positive so when you do get back in, you’re ready,” said Fontaine, who played his first road game in the 2014 playoffs Saturday night in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche on a line with Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter.

Fontaine ranked fourth on the team with 13 goals despite being scratched 14 times during the regular season.

Yet every single time Fontaine re-enters the lineup, coach Mike Yeo has been impressed how “seamlessly” he has been able to do it.

Fontaine loves the playoff stage. He won a national championship with Minnesota Duluth in 2011.

“It’s been just as big,” said Fontaine, 26. “It’s not the championship game, but the pace and intensity is high — way higher than regular season. The playoffs is a fast game. There’s no slowing the game down. Everyone’s going, everyone’s into it. Emotions are running a lot higher. You know what’s on the line.”

By playing his third playoff game Saturday, Fontaine hit the 69-game threshold, meaning he can become a restricted free agent rather than an unrestricted free agent if unsigned by July 1.

That likely assures his return to the Wild.

“I love Minnesota,” Fontaine said. “They taught me a lot this whole ride the last three years. Coming in this year and learning so much and playing a variety of situations, I’m happy to still be here, that’s for sure.”

Hatin’ the Wild

Avalanche fourth-line winger Patrick Bordeleau is not a fan of the Wild. He made his NHL debut against Minnesota last season but will forever remember being a Wild 2004 draft pick only to be dumped two years later by then-GM Doug Risebrough after attending two rookie camps.

Bordeleau, a Montreal native, wasn’t redrafted and slugged around the minors until signing as a free agent with Colorado in 2011.

“It’s part of hockey, but deep down, they let me go, so it’ll be nice to beat them,” said Bordeleau, 28.

Bordeleau has been a thorn in the Wild’s side this series. He looked to embellish a Game 3 slashing penalty by Niederreiter and kneed Jared Spurgeon in Game 4. That came one game after Matt Cooke sidelined Tyson Barrie with a kneeing penalty.

“We have a player [Cooke] that was suspended for seven games,” Yeo said.

“The very big difference is our player wasn’t hurt from it, but I would have to think both the referees and the people watching from afar are keeping a close eye on it.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland 3 Bottom 6th Inning
LA Angels 3
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
NY Jets 7 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 4th Qtr
San Diego 12
Seattle 21 3rd Qtr 9:28
Oakland 35
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 21 3rd Qtr 9:17
Washington St 24
Weber State 0 3rd Qtr
(19) Arizona State 31
Temple 14 2nd Qtr 2:02
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
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