Bruce Boudreau, like he’ll sometimes be even when he addresses the media during or after morning game-day skates, was in a full suit today as he prepped to take his first official media guide head shot.
It’s Media Day down at Xcel Energy Center as players go station to station for sitdown interviews, newspaper photo shoots, jumbotron photo shoots, and in today’s day and age, take pictures for memes for social media.
Matt Dumba even ran the Wild’s snapchat account.
It’s always funny to watch Media Day as players are escorted by a Wild staffer place to place. For the young guys, it’s exciting. For the older guys, you can tell this is just old hat. Think about it? Jason Pominville was drafted in 2001, Eric Staal in 2003. This isn’t their first rodeo.
“Like the first day of school,” Boudreau said. “You get to see everybody again. It should be exciting. If you love your job, it should be an exciting time of year.”
If you didn't see my camp advance, here's today's read with Boudreau answering some key questions.
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Boudreau and his staff, which includes assistants Scott Stevens, John Anderson and Darby Hendrickson and goalie coach Bob Mason, take the ice for the first time Friday morning.
Boudreau gave us an inkling of what the first couple days will be like.
Some coaches, like Mike Yeo, begin scrimmaging right off the hop, but while Boudreau will have some controlled 5-on-5, the first few days of camp will all be system work.
“We’ll be working on things to try to get to know what we’re capable of doing right off the bat,” he said. “Hopefully by the fourth day we’ve got the basis of everything of how we’re going to play.”
So Saturday from 9:45-11:15 a.m., fans will get to watch a legit practice when the team opens the door at Xcel Energy Center for you all to come on down.
Boudreau’s camps are said to be intense, and it’ll start with a skate test Friday.
System-wise, he said he’ll take stuff he did in Anaheim and combine it with the stuff this team already knows. He said not much will be different: “Positioning might be different, maybe a little bit of the thought process. The whole idea, the scheme of things, even if you watch the World Cup, they’re all the same.”
He said, “We want to ramp it up as quick as we can…a lot of pace in our practice.” But early on, there will need to be a mixture of teaching, so it won’t look like “a practice in December.” But, he doesn’t “want anything slow.”
On his style of play, Boudreau said, “It’s been successful for me wherever I’ve gone, so I don’t know why it wouldn’t be successful here. I keep things really simple. I don’t have fancy words or phrases to the players. It’s pretty straightforward, black and white conversation. They get what I’m talking about pretty early on in the season and then it’s working on it on a continual basis. I totally believe in repetitive things to get better.”
He said the big message he planned to deliver the players during the team meeting that’s currently being conducted, “It’s a new coaching staff.
“Everything is sort of off the table in our memory of you last year. It’s what you show me now that’s important. So guys that had bad years or didn’t do good things last year have a great opportunity this year because we’re seeing them for the first time.”
He admits players are still trying to figure him out, which is funny because Ryan Suter told me a few weeks ago that he “seems to be like the nicest guy in the world.”
Boudreau said he can tell players are thinking, “‘What’s this guy like? He seems to be smiling a little bit too much or he’s joking around with me, is he really joking or is he sarcastic?’ I think it takes a little bit of time for the guys to get to know ya.”
Although when asked how long it has taken previous teams to get to know him, Boudreau quipped, “Well, I think it’s worked pretty well … until Game 7.”
Boudreau is 1-7 all-time in career Game 7’s (which incidentally he reminded us of his record in those).
On another topic, with the United States’ Zach Parise and Suter and Finland’s Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula returning from the World Cup on Friday, Boudreau said the five players will have off until Monday.
“They’ve had training camp since Sept. 4, so they’re in shape. The married guys have been away from their family for a long time, so we want to give them a little time to get back united and have some fun because training camp, you don’t see a lot of your family in that either. We want to make sure they’re well rested and ready to go when they come back.”