CALGARY, Alberta – Wild winger Jordan Greenway recognizes he’s at his best when he’s edgy, skating with a mean streak that takes a physical toll on the opposition.
“It’s definitely part of my job,” Greenway said, “and I think I’m most dominant when I do play like that.”
But uncorking that impact requires Greenway to turn on a hard-nosed style that is the opposite of his easygoing personality, and flipping that mental switch can be tough.
“Me on the ice and me at home is a lot different,” Greenway acknowledged. “I think when I’m playing my best, I play a lot more aggressively, use my body a lot more, way more physical. I definitely gotta find ways to incorporate it into my game more, for sure, but it’s definitely not my norm.”
What happens when Greenway does transform into an agitator was on display Sunday in the 5-4 shootout loss to the Flames.
Not only did he register two hits, but he scored off a deflection after jostling to post up as a screen in front of the net.
The goal (his fifth) ended a 10-game drought, and Greenway finished with two shots — this after he had none in five contests during his goalless skid.
“It creates more space for myself and my linemates,” Greenway said about leveraging his 6-6, 225-pound frame. “It probably gets so frustrating on the ‘D.’ I couldn’t imagine. You just feel more confident. I think you feel like you got a bigger presence. I feel like I find myself shooting more, going to the net more and that’s when things tend to go in for me.”
To play this way consistently, though, Greenway must remind himself to take on a gruffer persona and that’s more of a challenge than actually delivering a heavy imprint on the action.
“The mental part is the hardest part, for sure,” he said.
Defenseman Carson Soucy was expecting a group of around 40 family members and friends in attendance Thursday at the Scotiabank Saddledome, his first NHL game in his native Alberta.
Soucy grew up in Irma, about a four-hour drive from Calgary.
“It’s definitely fun,” Soucy said. “I got together with a few people [Wednesday] night — both of my brothers and the oldest one brought his kids, so it was fun to see the niece and nephew. The grandparents were in town. Just friends and family. It was a fun night.”
Goalie Devan Dubnyk, who didn’t make the trip to Calgary and has been away from the team this week while with his wife, Jenn, continues to deal with a medical situation, will practice Friday and Saturday, coach Bruce Boudreau said.
But whether he’s ready to start Sunday against the Canucks at Xcel Energy Center is unclear.
“I guess we’ll find out to see how he’s doing,” Boudreau said. “I don’t want to make that comment right now. But he’ll practice [Friday] and he’ll practice Saturday, so we’ll see on Sunday afternoon.”
As for winger Jason Zucker, who’s been recovering from a fractured right fibula, it’s questionable whether he rejoins practice Friday.
“He could, but he could not,” Boudreau said. “It depends on the trainers, and it depends on the doctors.
“They just said, ‘He was looking good,’ and any time you ask an injured player how they feel and they say, ‘Better,’ the coaches don’t really have a clue what that means. We’ll see. We’ll see what decisions are made. As far as the timeline goes, I think it’s three weeks now. I think they said four to six, so it seems to be on schedule.”
The Wild activated defenseman Greg Pateryn (lower-body injury) from injured reserve and reassigned defenseman Matt Bartkowski to the American Hockey League.