Minnesota Wild interim Head Coach John Torchetti thought his team was ready for the New York Islanders on Tuesday night in Saint Paul, a 4-1 loss and the first defeat he has tasted since taking over behind the bench on Feb. 15. But Torchetti has been a hockey coach far too long to let one game get to him.
“You know, we didn’t get what we wanted,” Torchetti said. “We went over it. We did our film yesterday before practice, discussed it, move on and bring some energy tonight, and we’ve got to play a good road game.”
This weekend, Red Bull will host one of its Crashed Ice, downhill ice cross, races minutes away from where the Minnesota Wild plays its home games.
But someone who calls the Wild home will also be a part of the Red Bull event.
Sadie Lundquist, who serves as a fan relations account executive, also moonlights in the Red Bull races, and has been doing so for two years. With four events annually, she's traveled to Quebec, Germany, and competed in Saint Paul before, close to where the Duluth-native originally called home.
Zucker, who left the Wild's game on Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks in the second period after a check by Chicago defenseman Michal Rozsival, was placed on Injured Reserve with a concussion on Wednesday. Rozsival was assessed a five-minute interference major and match penalty. Zucker did not play in the Wild's 4-1 loss against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
With 22 games separating the Minnesota Wild from the NHL calendar's finish line, the Wild is hoping to smooth an inroads that will extend past the yellow tape that signals an end of the season for 14 of the league's 30 teams.
The Wild starting pacing its way toward a longer season when interim Head Coach John Torchetti took over last Monday. Minnesota reeled off four straight victories, a season high, but then suffered its first bit of adversity under its new bench boss with a 4-1 loss against the New York Islanders on Monday.
"It's a bump in the road," Torchetti said. "I'll tell them what I feel we have to do better next game."
Minnesota Wild interim Head Coach John Torchetti said it feels like he's been on the road for nine days.
It's not technically true by the lay of the NHL schedule, but in some respects, Torchetti is dead-on.
"To me, I'm excited to be here," Torchetti said. "And it's indoors." His official home debut was on Sunday, when the Wild defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 in the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Torchetti's Saint Paul debut, in front of a modest crowd that figures to be around 18,000, compared to the 50,000-plus on Sunday, is on Tuesday night against the New York Islanders.
Forward Jason Zucker will be out on Tuesday when the Minnesota Wild goes for its fifth-straight win, and hosts the New York Islanders.
Zucker was checked by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival during the second period of the Wild's 6-1 victory against Chicago on Sunday. Rozsival was assessed a five-minute major and match penalties, and Zucker did not return to the game with an upper-body injury.
"He's actually going to be meeting with the doctors today, so we're actually maybe going to have something tomorrow on that moving forward," interim Head Coach John Torchetti said.
Minnesota Wild forward Erik Haula was named the Second Star by the NHL for the week of February 15.
Haula, whose game has taken off since New Year's Eve, had a big week that culminated with his first career three-point game on the campus of his alma mater.
In the Wild's four games last week, Haula recorded two goals and five assists. He had a two-assist game against the Vancouver Canucks that helped the Wild snap an eight-game losing streak, and followed that up with a goal and an assist two nights later against the Calgary Flames.
A week can make all the difference amid the chaos that is an NHL season. Minnesota Wild interim Head Coach John Torchetti has seen that firsthand.
Seven days ago, Torchetti was coaching the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League in Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena. At the conclusion of the game, he was promoted to his interim position in Minnesota.
Then came a three-game road trip to Western Canada that the Wild swept, ending an eight-game losing streak that preceded it.
There's a certain level of excitement for the Minnesota Wild ahead of its Sunday date against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.
It's the first outdoor NHL game in Minnesota's history, many members of the Wild's locker room first foray into an outdoor pro game, and an occasion they'll share with friends and family.
But it also comes at a crucial juncture in the Wild's season, with Minnesota entering play on Saturday two points behind both the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators for the second wild card spot into the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
As Matt Dumba walked down the tunnel at TCF Bank Stadium back to the Minnesota Wild's locker room, he had a message for the media lined up in the hallways.
"Ray Lewis," Dumba said as he walked by.
It was an explanation for the optical design painted below Dumba's optics. He was one of many Wild players to don eye black on Saturday when the Wild practiced at TCF Bank Stadium to prepare for the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Game.