Lights, camera, action: Wild coach Bruce Boudreau was part of the Winter Classic in 2011, when he was behind Washington’s bench, and he loved the experience — including having HBO cameras follow him and the team around for “24/7 Penguins/Capitals Road to the Winter Classic.” Boudreau ended up starring in one of the more memorable moments of the behind-the-scenes documentary, an intermission, expletive-laced speech to the Capitals. “It brought hockey into the forefront because they were allowed total access to everything,” Boudreau recalled. “[Then Capitals General Manager] George McPhee made a point of saying they were allowed in the injury rooms and everything. So, people were seeing if you were hurt, the training part of it. They were allowed in the dressing rooms. Sometimes coaches went off, but they showed it all. And I thought it was great for the game.”
Pointing toward 50: After the Wild finished the first half of the season with a 4-1 loss to Toronto on Tuesday, Boudreau said, “Hopefully we just bounce back and win 25 games in the New Year, and we’ll be right there.” Winning 25 of the next 41 games would give the Wild 50 more points, lifting it to 93 — a total that could be right on par with a playoff spot. Last season, 90 clinched the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Milestone watch: Captain Mikko Koivu is close to achieving another milestone this season. Koivu is just two assists shy of 500 for his career, this after he previously skated in his 1,000th game on Dec. 1. At 498, Koivu is already the franchise assists leader.
Moving time: The holiday roster freeze is over, and the trade winds have picked up around the NHL. Thursday was a particularly busy day, with three moves taking place. Montreal sent former Wild defenseman Mike Reilly to Ottawa and then acquired another former Wild blue-liner in Marco Scandella from Buffalo for a 2020 fourth-round draft pick. The Buffalo Sabres then sent that pick to Calgary, who flipped forward Michael Frolik to Buffalo. With how tight the standings are, more maneuvering could certainly happen leading up to next month’s trade deadline. And the Flames could continue to be an active player, especially after clearing Frolik’s $4.3 million cap hit.