BOSTON – The Wild placed defenseman Marco Scandella on injured reserve Thursday with a lower-body injury sustained this week against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and rookie Gustav Olofsson, called up on emergency conditions as illness insurance, made his NHL debut in place of flu-stricken Jonas Brodin.
Several Wild players have been affected recently by the stomach bug, and in fact, Scandella has it, too. Brodin tried warming up, but in the end, Olofsson, a 2013 second-round pick, got the call. Center Erik Haula missed Tuesday’s game because of the illness but played Thursday, as did Ryan Carter, who missed Wednesday’s practice.
Scandella missed the first of at least two games. While he’s eligible to return next Wednesday against Vancouver, coach Mike Yeo didn’t seem convincing that this will be a short-term thing.
“He’s a huge part of our defensive group, a huge part of our defensive game, but the execution part of it, his skating ability, his play on the special teams, there’s going to be a lot of opportunity there for somebody else to step in and take advantage of it,” Yeo said.
The Scandella injury is a tough one for a Wild team already missing forwards Zach Parise, Justin Fontaine and Tyler Graovac.
“Every team goes through injuries, and good teams can get through them kind of unharmed,” said defenseman Ryan Suter. “Everyone’s going to have to play more and play harder. He’s a tough guy to fill in for. It’s a challenge. For me, it just makes me focus that much more, and I’m sure for the other guys, too.”
Backup goalie Darcy Kuemper felt “terrible” about Pittsburgh’s Olli Maatta being injured after Nino Niederreiter checked him into a door Kuemper opened for a line change Tuesday night.
“The door closed but the latch stayed open, so it was just kind of a perfect storm with the change coming and then the hit coming and the latch not shutting,” Kuemper said.
After talking with Wild teammates, Kuemper said the NHL should probably implement a rule where doors shouldn’t be opened during play.
“Everyone seemed to think it would be a good idea if you’re changing on the fly that you had to hop the boards and only use the gates if you change between whistles,” Kuemper said. “[An injury] happens once or twice a year, but if you can prevent those, why not?”
• Parise and Fontaine have skated in Minnesota with the Wild was on the road. Yeo called it “encouraging.”
• Michael Keranen, who made his NHL debut Tuesday, was scratched.