Minnesota Wild: Analysing Bruce Boudreau’s Thoughts So Far

DENVER, CO - MARCH 02: Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Minnesota Wild talks to his team during a break in the action against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - MARCH 02: Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Minnesota Wild talks to his team during a break in the action against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 2, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

For Minnesota Wild players and fans alike, it’s always quite intriguing to see what the head coach, Bruce Boudreau is thinking. We’ve compiled some quotes from the pre-season thus far and are looking at what light he sheds on this year.

Bruce Boudreau didn’t necessarily seem the most upbeat man, even after seeing his Minnesota Wild team (at something relatively close to full-strength) down the Colorado Avalanche by seven goals to none.

"“That’s the idea of it, to get them in a rhythm,” Boudreau said. “But at the same time, it’s not that we beat Colorado at its best.” (NHL.com)"

He saw the value in a win, in that it’d give his team a morale boost and hopefully set them up for further good results. However, I read his statement as a ‘hold up a sec’, this was their second-string side we beat.

It’s as if he’s trying to further light a fire under his players by saying that they can win, but only against a team that will likely see a good few players headed back to the American Hockey League.

This, to me, is prime Boudreau – simply put, the team wasn’t good enough even in winning by seven goals. He expects ever higher levels of performance.

Speaking after the defeat to the Dallas Stars, Zach Parise was a prime focus:

"“[Parise] played good and I played him a lot on purpose because I wanted to see how he could handle it,” Boudreau said. [He and Mikko] both played 22 minutes, which is an awful lot for a team that I coach, and they seemed to not run out of energy.” (NHL.com)"

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Here he blatantly calls himself out, stating that he typically doesn’t give players, no matter how elite, that sort of ice-time. He knows it was not his style and points it out to pump the tires of Parise and Koivu.

The team had a loss but he wants them to know it wasn’t necessarily a bad result in terms of helping his teams’ fitness levels and the like.

Pumping Parise’s tires is never going to be a bad thing for the Minnesota Wild. He needs to enter the year both fully fit and confident.

If those two things happen, then he has every chance of putting up good numbers. Not a bad thing at all for the Wild.

The next quote sheds a little insight into his thoughts on Justin Kloos, a player I think has put himself into roster contention.

"“He didn’t play much tonight but it seemed like every time he was on, there was an opportunity to score for him,” Boudreau said. (NHL.com)"

My consensus from what Boudreau had to say is that he’s seen a similar side to Kloos’ game. I read his statement as him a) being impressed on the night and b) that standing him in good stead for a roster place.

If the coach has positive things to say about you in the pre-season, especially when you’re not a player that was an NHL regular last year, that can’t possibly be a bad thing.

If he’s calling you out for mistakes, you call it a lesson. If he’s praising you, chances are he likes you and wants to help you take the next development step. In Kloos’ case, that is a proper chance in the big league.

Kloos A Shot At Final 23-Man Roster. light. Related Story

Next up, a short quote post the Jets pre-season opener, highlighting Nick Seeler:

"“I thought, quite frankly, he was a beast tonight,” Boudreau said. “He hit everything that moved, made an unbelievable pass to [Justin] Kloos for a breakaway. To see him get involved and get other people not liking him, I think the Minnesota people are going to see that’s the norm.” (NHL.com)"

The fact he states that Minnesota Wild fans will see it as normal suggests to me that his third defensive pairing is all but guaranteed to feature Nick Seeler this year.

Beast is not a term used lightly by any coach, not least Boudreau. The fact that Seeler was not only noticed but described in glowing terms says to me that the coach has taken a shine to his physicality and style.

light. Also. Season Preview Of Nick Seeler

I’m penning him in for the opening night third defensive pairing, purely on this comment.

"“The guys that probably will be killing the penalties at some point, they were really good,” Boudreau said. “Hopefully they’ll continue doing that.” (NHL.com)"

Finally, it’d seem that the coach knows exactly who is killing penalties this year – that group features the aforementioned Nick Seeler, new signings Eric Fehr and Greg Pateryn as well as Charlie Coyle, Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno if that one game was to go by.

Chances are all make the final roster and there’s the perfect mix there of defense and offense, so that could quite well be the final group.

I personally expect to see at least a little time for Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu on the penalty-kill, but if that’s not the case, it’s not a bad thing. Keep them fresh for 5-on-5 and power-play opportunities!

Coaches, including the Minnesota Wild one don’t always give too much away.

But just be reading between the lines (and not even that much), it’s safe to say Seeler and Kloos have made some impression so far this pre-season.

It’ll be interesting to see whether that pans out into a roster spot for either now.

dark. Next. Finally, A First Pre-Season Win This Year!