Defenseman Jared Spurgeon did not participate in Minnesota Wild practice on Friday, and is questionable to doubtful for its Saturday game against the Boston Bruins.
Spurgeon sustained a deep bruise during the Wild's game against the St. Louis Blues last Saturday. He missed each of the Wild's past two games, but practiced on Wednesday, and took part in morning skate on Thursday.
"Knowing him, I'm not ready to rule him out," Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "If he's ready to come out and battle and compete at the level that he's capable of, then obviously we'd love to put him in the lineup. But if he's not there, then we're confident with the group we have, too."
Devan Dubnyk said he's never been in a stretch like this in his career before. "And everybody knows I've had a bad stretch before," Dubnyk said.
As the Minnesota Wild has tried to claw its way out of a losing streak and a tough five weeks, Dubnyk has shouldered the brunt of the workload in the crease. The Wild has lost 11 of its past 12, and Dubnyk has been the goalie of record for nine of those.
The lone win came when Darcy Kuemper shut out the Los Angeles Kings in a 3-0 victory on Jan. 21.
The Minnesota Wild will be without defenseman Jared Spurgeon on Thursday when it hosts the Washington Capitals at Xcel Energy Center.
Spurgeon missed Minnesota's game on Tuesday with a deep bruise. The injury, sustained on Saturday against the St. Louis Blues, forced Spurgeon out of that game in the second period.
After practice on Wednesday though, Spurgeon was hopeful of making a return against the Capitals, who pace the NHL with 82 points this season.
The Minnesota Wild has scored a power-play goal in six of its past seven games, one in each, but that's not the only common thread for when Minnesota finds itself on the man-advantage.
The Wild has been focused on taking a great volume of shot-attempts. And the results, in the experiment's early stages, have been positive.
"It's going to create havoc, create lanes, and kind of open more things up," Matt Dumba said. "That shooting mentality has been good for us."
After falling to 1-8 in games decided in three-on-three on Tuesday with a 4-3 loss against the Dallas Stars, Head Coach Mike Yeo did not want to talk about the negatives of the Wild's loss in the postgame.
But on Wednesday, Yeo addressed the Wild's three-on-three struggles, saying change is on the way.
"Hopefully we get there a whole bunch more times and you guys get to see," Yeo said. "Going forward, I've got some different ideas we have that we're going to try, and we'll continue to do that."
Defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who missed the Minnesota Wild's game on Tuesday with a deep bruise, returned to practice on Wednesday, and said he could play on Thursday when the Minnesota Wild hosts the Washington Capitals.
"It's up to the coaching staff obviously, but if I can go, I can go," Spurgeon said. "I want to get in there and help the team out, and if there's any possible way to do that, I will."
Spurgeon left in the second period of the Wild's game on Saturday against the St. Louis Blues after taking two shifts coming out of the intermission.
When Head Coach Mike Yeo got to Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday, he wrote a quote on the board in the Minnesota Wild locker room.
While he wasn't quite sure of its wording when sharing it postgame, the message was crystal clear.
"I think it kind of reflects where we're at right now," Yeo said. "Tough times, they don't last, but tough people do, and that's what we have to do right now, and this is how we've gotten ourselves out of it before."
The Minnesota Wild won't be at full strength on Tuesday against the Dallas Stars, but it will have one key player remain in its the lineup.
Captain Mikko Koivu, who left the Wild's practice on Monday due to discomfort, will suit up as the Wild looks to end a five-game losing streak (0-4-1) and get out of a slide that has seen it lose 10 of its past 11 (1-9-1).
Facing one of the NHL's top offenses, Koivu and the rest of the Wild's defensive game will take center stage at Xcel Energy Center.
In the midst of a five-game losing streak (0-4-1), and having dropped 10 of its past 11 (1-9-1), Head Coach Mike Yeo said he was trying to send a message by scratching two forwards who had played in each of Minnesota's games up until that point.
With Vanek and Zucker, and as is the case with the rest of the roster, Head Coach Mike Yeo said he's looking for a response.
Already missing defenseman Jonas Brodin, the Minnesota Wild was also without Jared Spurgeon on Monday at practice and will likely be without him Tuesday when the Wild begins a three-game homestand against the Dallas Stars.
Spurgeon sustained a deep bruise during Minnesota's 4-1 loss against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. He played two shifts in the second period totaling 1:53, and then left the game and did not return.
"Obviously he's in a lot of discomfort today, and feeling pretty sore, and consider him doubtful tomorrow, but not something long-term," Head Coach Mike Yeo said.