The Wild didn’t practice very long Monday, but they didn’t waste a moment. That’s how coach Bruce Boudreau plans to handle things through the rest of the regular season, when a schedule of 19 games in 33 days makes practice time scarce.
The team spent a brisk 30 minutes on the ice at Xcel Energy Center. With players’ spirits still high from Sunday’s 3-1 victory over San Jose, they kept the mood light but still skated with energy and focus in preparation for Tuesday’s game against St. Louis. Boudreau said from here on out, the Wild will address a single topic in each practice as they try to balance work and rest.
“The main thing is, we look at (video of) the night before, and we want to work on one thing,’’ said Boudreau, who on Monday emphasized defensive zone coverage and play at the net. “I think at this stage, most practices will be 30 minutes or less.
“We just want to accomplish one thing. But we want to just not go out there for the sake of going out there. We want to make sure we do accomplish one thing and do that thing right to get it ready for the next day.’’
Forward Zach Parise said even though the Wild is playing frequently, it still helps to practice just to maintain flow and comfort on the ice. The team spent nearly the entire session Monday beneath the blue line before adjourning to a just-for-fun shootout contest.
They weren’t gassed when they left, which is how Boudreau wants it.
“Rest is going to be really important,’’ he said. “We’ve got 19 games in 33 days. That’s why practices are going to be so short, and hopefully, they’re uplifting practices rather than grinding-out practices.
“We’ve got guys that are over 30 that it’s more important to rest. They know we’ll show a lot of video in the next month, and they’re going to have to learn from that.’’
Other Monday practice notes:
-- Minnesota Wild defenseman Christian Folin will miss a minimum of three weeks due to an upper-body injury suffered in last night’s 3-1 win against San Jose. Folin had an MRI on Monday after appearing to suffer a serious injury to his right arm or wrist. He'd lost his footing chasing a dump-in against the Sharks and crashed into the end wall after a push by Kevin Labanc.
-- The Wild reassigned Tyler Graovac to Iowa.
--Parise said he felt good after Sunday’s game, his first in 12 days after being diagnosed with the mumps. He didn’t feel any ill effects from Chris Stewart’s wayward punch, either. Stewart accidentally delivered a jab to Parise’s face during a scrum in front of the net Sunday, and video of the incident was making the rounds on the Internet on Monday.
“He got me pretty good,’’ Parise said. “I was a little shaken up after that.’’
Asked if he planned any retaliation, Parise laughed. “Have you seen him?’’ he said. “I’m not getting back at him.’’
-- Lines at today’s practice:
White-Haula-Pominville, with Schroeder alternating in
-- Around the league
The Vegas Golden Knights, which will join the NHL next season, made the first player transaction in franchise history Monday by signing former Wild draft pick Reid Duke to an entry-level contract. Duke, a 6-0, 190-pound forward, currenly plays for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League and has a team-high 35 goals and 67 points. The Wild selected him in the sixth round of the 2014 NHL entry draft.