THURSDAY’S STORY LINE: Minnesota’s last two games have offered up a range of emotions. Saturday, the team took a disappointing 3-1 loss in Calgary. The Wild and Flames went into the third period tied, 1-1. Calgary’s Matt Stajan scored the game-winner at 7:19 of the third period and added an empty-netter with 8 seconds left.
Tuesday provided another emotional game against Calgary, and this time the Wild won at home in overtime. Jason Zucker tied the score, 1-1, with 4:19 left in regulation and Zach Parise got the game-winner just 27 seconds into overtime.
Hockey can be an emotional game, but in the shortened season the Wild realize to be successful they can’t get to high or too low.
“We come to the rink every day,” forward Devin Setogichi said. “It is such a short season that you have to be in good spirits otherwise you are just going to bring that negative energy to the team if we are down in the dumps.”
The Wild are 5-2-1 in their past eight games, and keeping the energy positive around the room is important — shortened season or not.
“The most important thing is staying in the moment, I guess,” center Kyle Brodziak said. “If you have a bad game and you lose the game, the only thing that is important is coming in the next day and working hard and getting better the next day. You can’t focus on what happened before. It is the same after a win.
“You can’t think you are on top of the world. … Come back to the rink the next day and try to work hard and get better. There are a lot of emotions that are involved in the game, but the best teams are those teams that are able to control those emotions.”
Starting Thursday night in Phoenix, the Wild begin a stretch of four of the next five games on the road against some very tough opponents that include Anaheim and Chicago.
“Most guys are pretty aware of what’s coming up in the next few days,” Brodziak said. “But, right now the most important thing is playing the game tonight and when we get to Anaheim tomorrow that is when we start thinking about that game.”
BACKSTROM IN THE NETS: Niklas Backstrom, who is 11-9-0 with a 2.12 GAA career against the Coyotes, will get the start Thursday in goal.