Head coach Bruce Boudreau looks to go on a winning streak as the Minnesota Wild return from Christmas. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
The Minnesota Wild, currently tied for ninth place in the Western Conference, are in desperate need of a long winning streak — like the franchise-best 12 straight victories they strung together a year ago.
Luckily for Minnesota, it has Bruce Boudreau on the bench.
In his last four seasons at the helm — three with the Anaheim Ducks and last year in Minnesota –Boudreau has consistently coached his team to one of the better records in the Western Conference after Christmas.
That includes his 2015-16 Ducks, who were stuck in last place in the conference at 12-15-6 on Christmas day, but went on to win 35 of their final 49 games to clinch the Pacific Division.
Bruce Boudreau Teams After Christmas, Since 2013-14
RECORD AFTER CHRISTMAS
WESTERN CONF. RANK
2016-17 (with Minnesota)
2015-16 (with Anaheim)
2014-15 (with Anaheim)
2013-14 (with Anaheim)
The Wild have a great chance to get something rolling after the break, as nine of their next 12 contests are at home, where they are 10-4-2 this season.
It all gets started Wednesday evening in St. Paul with a matchup against the 20-14-3 Dallas Stars.
— Dallas is 5-2-1 in its last eight road games, although the Stars are just 1 for 20 on the power play in that same span.
— Through the first 16 home games, the Wild’s penalty kill at the Xcel Energy Center (94.3 percent, 50 of 53) ranks fifth in the NHL since 2000-01.
— In five games against the Stars last season, Mikael Granlund recorded at least one point in each game, totaling seven on the year.
— There’s only five days remaining in December, but the Wild will play three games by the end of the month, which is good news for defenseman Matt Dumba. He’s scored five goals this December — the most he’s ever scored in a single month — to boost his total to 11 career goals on the final page of the calendar.