Wild get some reinforcements ahead of sprint to finish line
Jonas Brodin, Brandon Duhaime, and Jake Middleton were all back in the lineup on Sunday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center
As the Minnesota Wild paraded out of the tunnel on Sunday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center, the presence of a few players provided a major boost.
Jonas Brodin stepped onto the ice, with Brandon Duhaime and Jake Middleton not far behind.
Just what the doctor ordered for the Wild with 12 games left in the regular season.
“We were good in that stretch, and I think we’re just going to get better throughout the next 10 or 15 games or whatever it is,” Duhaime said. “I think we’re trending in the right direction, and we’ll heat up at the right time.”
Though the Wild were thrilled to have each player back in the lineup, Brodin’s return was particularly welcomed as he has missed the past month with a lower-body injury. He last played in a Feb. 21 win over the Los Angeles Kings before the Wild decided to shut him down.
“I’m 100%,” Brodin said while noting that he reinjured himself a few times earlier this season trying to push through the pain. “We took it slow and just waited until I was 100%, so I think that was a good choice.”
As for Duhaime, he has missed the past few weeks with an upper-body injury, going down after dropping the gloves in a March 2 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
“I felt pretty good,” said Duhaime, who ended up scoring the game-winner with an impressive backhander. “A big credit to the trainers for doing a good job with me and getting me back in shape.”
Asked if he will still fight despite getting hurt last time out, Duhaime noted how that’s a part of his game.
“You’re going to lose some every once in a while,” Duhaime said. “It’s all part of it.”
The least serious absence of the players that returned was Middleton. He missed the past couple of games with an illness and looked right at home stepping back on the blue line.
The next step for the Wild is getting their whole roster back to full strength. It sounds like Marcus Foligno is getting closer to returning from a lower-body injury, while Gustav Nyquist has started skating on his own before practices.
As for Kirill Kaprizov, he hadn’t started skating as of a few days ago, so the hope remains that he will be ready in time for the playoffs.
“I expect us to go there every night and get those two points,” Matt Dumba said. “I think we’re on a good track right now, and we’ve just got to keep this going.”
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