When Jason Zucker’s left leg went completely numb Thursday in Boston, his fear was actually alleviated. At first, the Wild winger worried he had suffered a serious knee injury, but then he figured a side effect of a ligament issue isn’t one’s entire leg going dead.
“It was more of a little scare than anything,” said Zucker, who was able to play Saturday night against the Nashville Predators. “At first, it was painful, and then it was just numb after that. It went completely numb, so first it was just trying to figure out what it was.”
After the game, doctors told him Matt Beleskey’s slash just struck a nerve.
“I saw the video,” Zucker said. “I don’t think it was anything that bad. I think he got me in the right spot at the right time when my leg was fully extended. I don’t think it was anything vicious.”
While Zucker was fine, Zach Parise appears to be getting closer to returning from a sprained MCL. He took part in Saturday’s skate, then had a doctor’s appointment to see whether he could get medically cleared for contact in practice Monday.
Coach Mike Yeo called it a good first step, although Parise looked rusty.
“It’s very different from the controlled skates that he’s been in,” Yeo said. “I just think the main thing right now is let’s just hear what the doctors have to say, and then we can decide how quickly we can try to get him back. But obviously putting his long-term health first, [we’ll make] sure that when he comes back that he’s going to stay in.”
Yeo said he’d be surprised if defenseman Marco Scandella (lower body) is able to return Wednesday against Vancouver, but he didn’t rule it out.
Koivu’s 700th game
Mikko Koivu, the Wild’s all-time leading scorer, skated in his 700th game Saturday — 44 games from passing close friend Nick Schultz for the most games played in Wild history.
Back in the old collective bargaining agreement, a player received his own room on the road if he hit the 600-game/10-year mark. When Schultz hit that milestone, Koivu wouldn’t allow Schultz to stop being his roommate. “Well, yes and no,” Koivu said. “I didn’t tell him, ‘You can’t,’ but at the same time, I was like, ‘You better not leave me.’ So he didn’t for a while.”
Defenseman Jonas Brodin, who missed Thursday’s game with the stomach bug floating around the Wild, returned Saturday. Defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who played only 4 minutes, 23 seconds in the third period on Thursday, also played.
“I give [Spurgeon] credit,” Yeo said.
“A number of guys battled hard through that game and were not at their best, but that’s part of being a pro.”
Winger Justin Fontaine, skating on his own as he tries to return from a sprained knee, has been hit by the bug. The Wild needs him back. Its penalty kill is successful 84.2 percent of the time with him, 67.9 percent without him.
• About 200 children from the Wild’s Kids Club watched Saturday’s morning skate. Afterward, Mikael Granlund turned to Charlie Coyle and deadpanned, “I thought all your family came from Boston.”