Instead of making the switch in-game for a fourth consecutive occasion, Bruce Boudreau plans to start Thursday’s game in San Jose with Jordan Schroeder as first-line right winger and Jason Pominville as fourth-line right winger.
The Wild coach indicated it’s more to find the right mix on the Zach Parise-Eric Staal line rather than to downgrade Pominville, whose 14-game goal drought is the fourth longest of his career.
Parise has six goals and nine assists in 27 games.
“That’s the only real line that we’re still trying to find the right combinations for Zach and Eric, so I figured maybe if we’re going to start [Schroeder] there in San Jose that we could get a couple good practices under our belt with him there,” Boudreau said.
Boudreau said Pominville brings more balance and speed to the line with Chris Stewart and center Tyler Graovac.
Pominville has five goals and nine assists in 36 games.
“I feel I’m definitely snakebit,” he said. “That’s the frustrating part. Besides maybe the last two games, previously I was getting a lot of great looks. I could easily be at 10 or so goals without really being on the power play.”
He’s not taking the demotion in lines personally.
“It’s just a [practice] jersey color,” said Pominville, adding sometimes it’s just to provide a spark and it’s worked with Schroeder. “It’s a long season. Things will change. Lines won’t stay the same. I’ve just got to keep worrying about my game, and that’s it.”
In need of an extra forward for the California trip, the Wild recalled Kurtis Gabriel from Iowa of the AHL.