You win some, you lose some, you tie some … well, you don’t tie anymore in the NHL.
But philosophy aside, Wild coach John Torchetti wasn’t going to apologize for Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Los Angeles, a game in which the Wild was outshot 39-18 and out-attempted 74-32.
“Sometimes the NHL … it’s a great parity league and there’s games that they taketh and there’s games they giveth,” Torchetti said Wednesday. “I felt our Washington game [3-2 loss on Feb. 26] was one that we let get away, meaning we should have come out of it with two points, and then it evens out into this one.”
The Wild is one point ahead of Colorado for the final Western Conference playoff berth. The teams meet in Denver on Saturday, but Torchetti insisted there was no looking ahead with Thursday’s game against Calgary looming.
“I’m just worried about the first period [Thursday],” he said, “Being better in our battles, better in our dump-ins and our chip-ins and our forecheck, just on our breakouts and wall play. That’s our No. 1 thing we talked about today.”
Said captain Mikko Koivu: “There are parts of the game we can do better, but I’m sure every team goes through that. There’s a lot of good things in our game right now, and we’re just going to keep building and try to get better.”
Ready to go
Jason Pominville could be back in the lineup after missing more than two weeks because of a groin injury.
“It felt good, haven’t had any pain, so we’ll see,” Pominville said of his possible return to a red-hot line with center Erik Haula and left winger Nino Niederreiter. “We’ve had some success in the past and [Haula and Niederreiter] have played well for us lately … it was fun to kind of have a chance to sit back and see them play as well as they have recently. Hopefully we can keep doing what we do best.”
Pominville was eager to get back into the playoff-type atmosphere, with eight regular-season games left.
“It’s been that way for us for a little while now, a lot of must-win games,” he said. “It’s going to be that way from here on out, so our playoffs have already started. Every little play matters, every detail matters, and it’s the attitude we have to bring.’’
The Wild signed Hobey Baker Award finalist Alex Petan, who finished his four-year career at Michigan Tech last week, to an amateur tryout contract and sent him to Iowa of the AHL.
Petan, 23, was undrafted. The 5-9, 180-pound forward is the older brother of Winnipeg Jets forward Nic Petan.
A Vancouver, British Columbia, native, Alex Petan is the only Hobey finalist who is not American. He was the WCHA player of the year and had 18 goals and 15 assists in 35 games this season. The Huskies lost to eventual champion Ferris State in the league semifinals Friday.
Zach Parise, battling a scoring slump and an upper-body injury, didn’t practice Wednesday. Neither did goalie Devan Dubnyk, who had a season-high 38 saves against the Kings.
“Just some maintenance,” said Torchetti, who didn’t project his Thursday lineup. Winger Thomas Vanek, benched the past three games, took Parise’s spot on an a line with Mikael Granlund and David Jones on Wednesday but, given the team’s three-game win streak, seems unlikely to be back in the lineup.