Wins aren't all that have been missing lately for the Wild.

They're also looking for their swagger.

"It's an attitude," coach Dean Evason said, "a commitment that we're going to work each and every night. That's what we talked about [Wednesday]: You're not going to win every hockey game, but our work has to translate into giving ourselves an opportunity each and every night."

Success breeds this aura, which explains why the Wild are lacking it.

At 3-4-2, they've dropped twice as many games as they've won, and they've yet to string together consecutive victories. They've been up and down, but the lulls are getting longer: They rebounded from a ghastly display at Philadelphia last week with two of their more competitive efforts against Washington and New Jersey but lost each time, extending their winless skid to a season-high three games.

But if swagger is more mental mindset than physical performance, the Wild can feel that way regardless of their results.

"You walk into the rink, you're positive," veteran forward Pat Maroon said. "You have good energy. That translates over to the rink. That translates over to the ice. When you're feeling good in the morning, everyone's happy. Everyone's in a good mood, and I'm a firm believer once you get on the ice everyone feels the same way and you're more engaged, more upbeat, more vocal.

"Everyone's playing the right way, and I think sometimes if you don't have that, it just seems you're kind of lost."

Maybe Matt Boldy will be the Wild's compass.

Boldy is expected to return on Thursday vs. the Devils at Xcel Energy Center after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. The winger was hurt Oct. 14 at Toronto after scoring his first goal of the season.

"Second game of the year obviously stinks waiting all summer," said Boldy, whose 31 goals ranked second on the team last season. "But there's a lot more hockey to be played."

Captain Jared Spurgeon also practiced with the Wild on Wednesday at Tria Rink in St. Paul before a planned early exit, but the defenseman won't be in the lineup against New Jersey.

Spurgeon has been out since suffering an upper-body injury in the preseason, and he has to miss at least one more game before he's eligible to be activated from long-term injured reserve. After practice, the Wild recalled defenseman Daemon Hunt from Iowa in the American Hockey League.

"Hopefully get [Spurgeon] in sooner than later," Evason said.

Frederick Gaudreau (upper body) and Alex Goligoski (lower body) are also sidelined and have not rejoined the team, so the Wild won't be at full strength any time soon.

Still, getting Boldy back might be just the boost the team needs to change its demeanor and ultimately its direction.

"It's not like we've played poorly," Evason said. "We haven't played great either. We have to get away from the middle ground or bottom and get back to playing with that energy, that pace, excitement level that we know that we can play at."