Matt Boldy skated with the Wild Wednesday morning, and he could be back on the ice inside Xcel Energy Center Wednesday night to make his NHL debut in Game 6 against the Golden Knights.
Coach Dean Evason said the Wild has some game-time decisions to make and Boldy is "available to us if we see fit to put him in." The only forwards who didn't participate in the Wild's optional morning skate before Game 6 were Marcus Foligno and Nick Bonino, although those two don't usually skate in optional sessions.
Boldy had six goals and 12 assists in 14 games with Iowa in the American Hockey League, where Boldy began his pro career after leaving Boston College in March to sign an entry-level contract with the Wild. The forward was drafted 12th overall by the Wild in 2019.
"We've watched his games obviously down there as much as we can on our off nights and obviously communicate with [coach] Tim Army down there and how he's progressing. By the sounds of everything, he's gotten better and better. It's not easy obviously to come and play pro hockey. I don't care if you're in the American League or the NHL.
"So, he's gotten better and better."
Ahead of Game 5, the Wild had defenseman Calen Addison make his playoffs debut after Carson Soucy suffered an upper-body injury. Addison had an assist on the game-winning goal, his first career point in the NHL, and logged 13 minutes, 18 seconds of ice time.
"They've all been on the big stage and if you're talking about a guy like Boldy or Addison, they've played the World Juniors," Evason said. "They've played at the highest level. It's hockey. End of the day, it's hockey. They go out there, and you hopefully have the right mindset to play and have fun. You try to score, and you try to not let the other team score."
Regardless of how the lineup shakes out, what's at stake for the Wild in this best-of-seven series against Vegas remains the same: win or its season is over.
"You can't sugarcoat it again," Evason said. "We're still down 3-2. So, we're in a position where we have to be desperate. We're in a position where same as last game we have to score goals, and we have to win one game at a time. That's the message."
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Kirill Kaprizov- Victor Rask-Mats Zuccarello
Zach Parise-Ryan Hartman-Kevin Fiala
Nick Bonino-Nico Sturm-Nick Bjugstad
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Ian Cole-Calen Addison
4-3: Record for the Wild all-time in Game 6.
4-2: Showing at home for the Wild in Game 6.
12-10: Record for the Wild in elimination games.
7: Points by Wild defensemen in the series.
38: Saves by goaltender Cam Talbot on 40 shots in Game 5.
About the Golden Knights:
Vegas is 1-2 all-time in a Game 6 playoff game. The Golden Knights are 1-1 when on the road for Game 6. In Game 5, Vegas outshot the Wild 22-1 in the second period but scored only once during a 4-2 loss to the Wild. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 10 saves on 13 shots. Fleury appears to be back in net for Game 6.