Moved down to the Minnesota Wild fourth line ahead of their game with the Winnipeg Jets, it’s fair to say that there would’ve been fire in the belly of Nino Niederreiter.
Against the Ottawa Senators the game prior, he had an awful night ending with a -3 plus/minus and seeing a lowly 13:09 ice-time.
This led Minnesota Wild head coach, Bruce Boudreau to demote him to fourth line duties in the hope to re-ignite the spark he was missing.
Thankfully for Boudreau, the demotion was taken the right way by Nino; he worked hard and managed to notch both a goal and an assist on the night, spending the majority of it alongside the hard-working Marcus Foligno and Eric Fehr.
Maybe it was their work ethic that rubbed off on Nino Niederreiter on the night. Maybe it was the demotion. Maybe it was a combination of a lot of things. Either way, it came just at the right time with the Jets leading 2-0 when he decided to show up big for the Minnesota Wild.
He logged a very limited 11:43 ice-time, with 05:25 on the power-play suggesting that despite having a two-point night, he still hasn’t quite put himself back in the good books of coach Boudreau, but there’s plenty of time for that. All that matters is that he played a role in a good win for the Minnesota Wild!
The Swiss winger remains on track to match last season’s totals; with his pace putting him at 43 points come season’s end, but it will require the sort of detail-orientated performance that he showed he’s capable of versus the Jets.
His first quarter of this season wasn’t great, let’s hope he can continue his good form from this one game and edge up that points pace!
Statistics courtesy of Dobber Sports.