If You Can Play, You Can Play.
Stand up. Stand. Respect. The Minnesota Wild is hosting a You Can Play Awareness Night this season, with a date to be announced.
Hockey Is For Everyone and this partnership with You Can Play Project exemplifies this commitment. The State of Hockey is proud to be an inclusive home for players, coaches and fans from all communities.
You Can Play Project’s Mission:
You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.
You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success.
You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.
After playing the Arizona Coyotes on Monday, the Minnesota Wild will have six days off as the NHL All-Star Break begins. It's the Wild's longest layoff of the regular season, until Minnesota can practice at 2 p.m. on Monday, February 1, an NHL-mandated stay-away.
During that time, 22 Wild players will spend the time off however they see fit, while Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota's lone all-star, will head to Nashville.
And though the Wild finds itself in better standings than at last year's All-Star Break, it's Minnesota's footing that is beginning to slip, making its final pre All-Star Game matchup more important.
SAN JOSE – In a league with so much parity, where it seems like every result from December on has major playoff implications, the reality that is the three-point game comes into play.
When tied midway through the third period or later, getting to overtime and securing at least a point can go a long way in building one's playoff resume.
But in two of the past three games, the Wild has given up a game-winning goal with under seven minutes remaining in regulation.
SAN JOSE -- The talk the past month or so when it comes to the Minnesota Wild's special teams play has been the power play.
But over that four-week stretch, what's really been special is the penalty kill.
"It was a little bit of a mindset," Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "Pucks went in on us early. Not that we were doing things poorly, but it got us into a sit-and-watch mode."
SAN JOSE – Quiet and under the radar are ways to describe Ryan Suter and his play at times.
On Saturday, Suter was using those adjectives to describe another Suter.
Before the Minnesota Wild and Sharks faced off, Gary Suter, Ryan's uncle and a former Shark, was honored at SAP Center. Part of that ceremony included a ceremonial puck drop, where Ryan, and not Wild captain Mikko Koivu, skated out to center ice to join his uncle.
SAN JOSE -- After the Wild claimed forward Jarret Stoll off waivers in December, it gave Minnesota renewed depth of front.
With 13 healthy forwards in the fold, it became a numbers game, and in Stoll's first appearances, it was forward Erik Haula who was a healthy scratch.
Now Haula is playing at a level that is earning him more ice time, and earning high praise from his coach.
SAN JOSE -- From the time forward Charlie Coyle corralled a headman pass in the neutral zone, to when he scored on a breakaway against Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, it took under four seconds.
Fifteen minutes earlier in that period, Coyle found himself in the same situation: One-on-one against Quick, a matter of seconds to decide on a course of action, but in that instance, Quick made the save.
"I think I might have had him," Coyle said of his first breakaway attempt. "But last second it rolled off."
LOS ANGELES -- During a stoppage in the first period at Staples Center, referee Shane Heyer held up the faceoff as the Kings aired a long tribute video for forward Jarret Stoll, punctuated by a standing ovation from the Los Angeles crowd.
"I think [the ref] let him win the draw, too," Ryan Suter joked. "It's great to see when you go back when a guy's been there for a while, when he goes back to a place — it was pretty special. It was a great showing of respect."
Stoll played his 18th game for the Wild on Thursday, and his first at Staples Center since he signed with the New York Rangers this offseason. Though he's still a newcomer to Minnesota, the video was emblematic of the kind of impression he's made on his teammates so far.
SAN JOSE – Prior to its game on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings, Head Coach Mike Yeo said the Minnesota Wild hadn't forgotten it was a good team.
"We've got a group that a couple of weeks ago, we were one of the better teams in the league," Yeo said. "We're a good team that's just in a bad spell."
That spell ended with a 3-0 win against the Pacific Division-leading Kings on Thursday at Staples Center, a building in which Los Angeles was 15-7-1 entering the game.
LOS ANGELES – There was no temptation for forward Jarret Stoll to keep going down the hallway, past the Minnesota Wild's locker room, and into more familiar territory on Thursday morning, but he did crack a smile when talking about his former team.
"It was an easy walk over, and I knew exactly where I was going," Stoll said. "It was different being in here, but it's going to be a fun night."
Stoll and the Wild will play the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Thursday, a building he called home for seven seasons as a King, and a building he and the Kings clinched two Stanley Cups in.