Preview: Wild at Canucks
Greenway has a chance to return to the lineup as the surging Wild visits the Vancouver Canucks to start a seven-game National Hockey League road trip Monday. The Wild has won five straight games.
Greenway skated with the club Sunday after being recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League. During the demotion, he counted three goals in two games.
“Now that I’m back, I’m just looking to keep that confidence going and just build off it up here,” Greenway told reporters.
The 21-year-old has only one assist in nine games with Minnesota this season.
“In a perfect world, we were hoping he would get some more confidence from shooting the puck and playing more minutes, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters.
The bench boss was impressed with Greenway’s practice effort, but did not hesitate to offer a verb jab.
“He looked pretty happy to be back,” Boudreau told reporters. “He took a hit out of the water bottle. It’s the first time I’ve seen more than one shot in a practice so it was great.”
Most Wild players do not appear to need the wily coach’s criticism-come-motivation.
Minnesota has outscored its opponents 17-9 during the past five games. Mikael Granlund is riding a seven-game points streak and his teammates are producing consistently.
Meanwhile, the Canucks are looking to make amends after suffering a 5-0 home loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Vancouver has lost two straight games and three of its past four. Although rookie sensation Elias Pettersson and sniper Brock Boeser returned from injuries Saturday, the club is still battling significant health woes.
Goaltender Anders Nilsson became the latest casualty with a broken finger suffered during Saturday’s morning skate. The Canucks have promoted journeyman netminder Richard Bachman as a replacement, but Jacob Markstrom is expected to get the start against the Wild.
Vancouver coach Travis Green put his players through a tough practice Sunday to help the club get back on the winning track.
“I thought it was great for us,” center Bo Horvat told reporters. “We need to get back to the way we were in (training) camp and (get) back to that hard-nosed mentality because we’re not going to accept losing. It was an intense practice and a hard practice.”
Green also juggled his lines as winger Loui Eriksson, who earns $6 million per year but has yet to score this season, was moved off the first line. Tim Schaller, considered to be mainly a mucker and grinder, took his place.
“If I’m on that line, I’m definitely going to get pucks and bodies to the net,” Schaller told reporters. “We need to work hard away from the puck to get into good spots and make the defense think a little bit more.”
Green is looking for the Canucks – scorers and grinders alike – to show more tenacity near the net.
“Certain parts of our game have slipped,” he told reporters.