While Jason Pominville has been busy chasing two young kids around so far this offseason, his team has been busy with the hiring of new head coach Bruce Boudreau. Pominville, who was still in Minnesota this past week while waiting for the school year to end, took part in a fundraiser organized by the Wild to benefit victims of the Alberta wildfires. He took time there to chat with the Star Tribune’s Michael Rand about the coaching change and other topics:
Q You went through a coaching change in Buffalo right before you were traded to the Wild in 2012-13, and then again midseason last year plus the permanent one now. What is it like as a player to go through a coaching change?
A This one will actually be the first one I’ll go through in the summer, so it will be a little different. I’m sure we’ll have a little more time to have a chance to talk with (Boudreau) and have a chance to meet him and get to know him a little more. When it’s in-season, it’s bang-bang, everything is quick, he’s meeting every guy and getting right into things. Now we’ll have the summer and training camp to prepare and implement his system and rules. It will be pretty interesting and neat for the guys. He’s a guy that’s been around and has had success. He seems like a really fun guy to play for. … I haven’t met him yet. I’m sure we’ll talk eventually. But he’s a proven guy.
Q Boudreau has a reputation as an offensive-minded coach. Is that exciting for a forward?
A Yeah, I think it’s exciting for our team as a group. We’ve shown sparks where we were really good offensively; we’ve shown times where we’ve struggled offensively. We just have to find a way to be more consistent, whether it’s our power play, our five-on-five, whatever. If he can bring different ideas and different things that can help us, we’ll be a better team in the long run. We’ve always been a team that overall defends well. And when we’re really good, we’re good offensively. Hopefully this takes us to another level offensively.
Q Your decline in production has been a topic of discussion, along with your age. (Pominville scored 30 goals in 2013-14, 18 the next year and 11 last season. He’ll turn 34 in the middle of next season). You can’t reverse aging. Nobody can. But how can you reverse the trend in production?
A Last year it was just the start I had. (He didn’t score a goal in the Wild’s first 21 games). I’m not even too worried about the rest of it. You get off to the start I had, and name me one guy who had my start who winds up having a good year. It’s tough to get behind the 8-ball. You lose confidence, you’re trying to find your play and get back to where you’ve had success, but you get away from it because you’re trying to overdo things or overthinking. I just need to get off to a better start, and my points will be where they normally would be.
Q Game 6 of the playoffs. How long does that game stick with you — both the dramatic comeback and coming up just short of tying it?
A It was an awesome way for the group to react. We could have folded and gone home. We gave it a push and everything we had. It’s unfortunate we had the start we had. It just goes to show how good we can be when we’re pushing and we’re on our toes.