With Christian Folin having played well in his first two games and Bruce Boudreau wanting to give Mike Reilly “a second chance” Thursday after a poor season debut, defenseman Matt Dumba was supposed to be a lineup casualty.
But Dumba wound up playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs because Marco Scandella was sick.
Despite scoring a power-play tying goal vs. Winnipeg last weekend, Dumba’s defensive play and puck management have been erratic.
“Maybe he has to do a little less,” Boudreau said before Dumba played a mostly solid 23 minutes in a win over the Leafs. “Sometimes players try so hard and they do too much rather than just do their job and make plays.”
Folin took three penalties Thursday, but Boudreau liked his game. The Wild could need Dumba and Folin to continue to play well. Jared Spurgeon sustained an upper-body injury in the third period when checked hard by Maple Leafs enforcer Matt Martin.
After scoring eight goals and eight assists as a rookie two years ago, Dumba also got a 13-game look before being returned to junior in 2013. Dumba set a career-high with 10 goals, 26 points and 152 shots last season.
But the youngster still has a tendency of scrambling and risky plays.
“Dumba is going to be a really good player. And he’s a good player right now,” Boudreau said. “He’s trying to do too much right now. We just want him to calm it down and play his game.”
Reilly, 23, looked to have first-game jitters last week in St. Louis and was yanked from the lineup because of it. But Boudreau wanted to give him chance to redeem himself.
“It was good for me go down and play in Iowa a few nights ago, get minutes, get a lot of reps and play in every situation,” Reilly said. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I felt I had a good preseason, just one tough game against St. Louis. I’m not going to let that get me down. I’m confident in what I can do each night.”
Old friends meet
Thursday was the second career game matching Reilly, who went to Holy Angels, with childhood friend and offseason training partner Jake Gardiner, who starred at Minnetonka.
“I know he definitely got this one circled on his calendar, obviously with a lot of family and friends coming to the game,” Reilly said. “We talked a lot about this game, he’s obviously excited every time he gets to come into town and see everybody and especially play against me too. It kind of makes it even more special that we’re so close.”
Getting No. 1
Teemu Pulkkinen, 24, who two seasons ago for Grand Rapids led the American Hockey League with 34 regular-season goals and 14 playoff goals, was excited to get his first goal out of the way Tuesday.
Known for a sizzling shot, Pulkkinen’s tally came on a nifty deflection.
“It was funny, but I’ll take that one,” he said. “Sometimes you need luck to score goals. It was good to get the first one. You don’t want to play too many games without a goal.”
Blue line help added
With depth defenseman Victor Bartley sidelined, the Wild signed defenseman Mike Weber, who has played 351 NHL games, to a tryout with AHL Iowa. The Wild could ultimately sign Weber to a two-way contract if it runs into injuries or makes a trade.
Forget about revenge
Boudreau has been limping around. He claims it was Erik Haula who nailed him in Wednesday’s practice.
“I’ll get him,” the coach vowed.
He’ll have to be careful though if Haula continues to play well. Boudreau has been happy with his third-line center’s start, especially his goal, assist and neutral-zone play Tuesday against Los Angeles.
“He was good, and he had to be good,” Boudreau said of Haula. “That’s the balance. We didn’t have everybody else going.” …
Left wing Jason Zucker, who missed Wednesday’s practice, played vs. the Leafs.