With Christian Folin sidelined for at least three weeks because of an arm injury, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau expected the team would recall a defenseman from its AHL affiliate in Iowa. The Wild will begin an eight-day, five-game road trip Thursday, and with only six healthy defensemen on the roster, Boudreau figured a reinforcement would be on the way.
He needed one sooner than he thought. The already depleted group was reduced further Tuesday, when Matt Dumba became ill and was unable to play against St. Louis. Defenseman Gustav Olofsson was recalled Tuesday afternoon and played in place of Dumba, while Nate Prosser took Folin’s spot in the lineup.
Folin injured his right arm in Sunday’s 3-1 victory over San Jose. The team will miss him, Boudreau said, but it can’t dwell on his absence.
“He’s a big man,’’ Boudreau said of Folin, who has played in 44 games this season. “When he’s playing at the top of his game, he’s physical and he’s solid. But we’ve played without him before. When one guy leaves, another guy has got to replace him and do just as well. That’s what our motto is the whole year.’’
30 minutes or less
Boudreau has taken a cue from the pizza-delivery world as he plans out the rest of the regular season. He will limit most of the Wild’s remaining practices to no more than 30 minutes, with each session focusing on one area.
Beginning with Thursday’s game at Tampa Bay, the Wild will play its final 18 regular-season games in a span of 31 days. The coach doesn’t want to overtax his roster, nor does he want to waste any practice time. Each practice will concentrate on a single topic culled from the Wild’s performance in its previous game.
“We don’t want to just go out there for the sake of going out there,’’ Boudreau said. “We want to make sure we do accomplish one thing and do that thing right to get it ready for the next day.
“Hopefully, they’re uplifting practices rather than grinding-out practices. We’ve got guys that are over 30, that it’s more important to rest. They know we’ll show a lot of video in the next month, and they’re going to have to learn from that.’’
• With the Wild on the road, Xcel Energy Center will host the boys’ hockey state high school tournament Wednesday through Saturday. Tuesday, Boudreau revealed his rooting interest.
“We have a family friend that’s playing for Eden Prairie,’’ he said. “So we’ll be watching them pretty closely.’’
• The Wild scratched forward Jordan Schroeder.
• Tuesday’s announced attendance of 19,124 pushed the Wild’s all-time attendance past the 13 million mark. The game was the 703rd in franchise history at Xcel.