Boudreau walks into this one by viewing Wild’s next contest ‘like a Game 7’

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It’s tough not to feel bad for Minnesota Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau … unless you’d rather just make fun of him.

Boudreau said that he’s not going to criticize his team’s efforts after the St. Louis Blues opened up a startling 3-0 series lead against the Wild, and it’s easy to see why. Luck can be pretty cruel and fickle in the playoffs, and as it stands, Minnesota just can’t seem to solve Jake Allen.

Still … some of his comments made it pretty easy for his hecklers.

Watch Blues vs. Wild: Game 4 at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBC Sports app

OK, one in particular:

Considering Boudreau’s history in Game 7 situations, well, people were already making jokes:

Harsh.

The range of reactions for Boudreau making a Game 7 reference (and the Wild’s unfortunate start so far) basically go from discomfort/awkwardness:

To glee:

Poor Bruce.

Check out Boudreau’s full thoughts in the clip below. The Wild and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo also provided other quality reactions in their respective feeds.

The Wild play Game 7 4 against the Blues on Wednesday.

‘It’s not as dire as they think’: Boudreau knows a thing or two about being down 0-2

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Bruce Boudreau has been in this position before.

It’s the fourth time in his career that his team finds themselves down 2-0 in a best-of-seven series.

In 2009, Boudreau’s Capitals dropped Games 1 and 2 at home against the New York Rangers, but they managed to storm back and win the series in seven games. They’re one of just 18 teams in NHL history to win a series after losing the first two games at home (the 2011 Bruins were the last team to do it).

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But things didn’t go as well in 2014 and 2016 when he was the head coach for the Anaheim Ducks. Both times, the Ducks were eliminated from the playoffs, but in each case, they managed to stretch the series to seven games.

Given all of his experience, you can understand why Boudreau isn’t throwing in the towel just yet.

“I mention it to draw from the experience,” he said, per the St. Louis Dispatch. “It’s the third time that it’s happened. Successfully we’ve won it once. Unsuccessfully we lost in seven both other times. Just trying to explain to (the Wild) that it’s not as dire as they think.”

As confident as Boudreau might be, dropping Game 3 on Sunday afternoon would be a huge blow to his team’s chances of mounting a comeback.

Their biggest obstacle is finding a way to put the puck in the net. Through two games, the Wild have only managed to score two goals on Jake Allen. That’ll have to change in a hurry if they want to extend this series.

Game 3 will go Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET. To stream the game, click here

 

Wild need a win, but Boudreau cautions: ‘If we’re not ready to play, we’re in trouble’

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The Minnesota Wild play the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Facing the worst team in the NHL would seem, at least on paper anyway, to be the perfect remedy to the Wild’s recent struggles — just four wins since the beginning of March and a fall from first in the Central Division.

As the losses have piled up in Minnesota, so, too has coach Bruce Boudreau’s frustration with the way his team has been playing, the latest evidence of this occurring during a media availability with reporters prior to Sunday’s game.

He didn’t say much. But that should speak volumes.

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Q: The team showed little drive against an opponent it might face in the playoffs. How disappointing was that? A: You’re going to have to talk to them about it, not me. Because I can’t get inside their drive.

Q: What’s the message to players today? A: We’ve got to go out there and win a game. That’s what we’ve got to do. If we’re not ready to play, then we’re in trouble.

Devan Dubnyk starts in goal for the Wild.

First place in the Central is no longer a possibility for the Wild, but with four games remaining on their schedule, including today’s contest, they can use that time to try to rediscover themselves heading into the playoffs.

More frustration for Bruce Boudreau as Wild lose again

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Another loss for the Minnesota Wild meant more frustration for head coach Bruce Boudreau.

Last weekend, he called his team’s performance “embarrassing” following a loss to the lowly Canucks.

On Saturday, he took issue with his team’s work ethic after a 3-0 loss to the Nashville Predators. Filip Forsberg scored his 31st goal of the season, while Kevin Fiala added another goal just 10 seconds later, and suddenly the Wild were in the hole. P.K. Subban added the insurance marker late in the third period.

That’s a big win for the Predators, who need only a single point tomorrow to secure a playoff spot.

Meanwhile, the Wild continue to struggle. This has been a prolonged period of losing and tumult for a team that was challenging for top spot in the league at the beginning of last month.

Back then, Chicago was five points back of Minnesota.

Now? The Wild are officially out of contention for first in the Central Division.

“First ten minutes we were good, after that we lost battles…they outworked us,” said Boudreau, per the Wild. “We’ve got to come to play every game. We can’t be satisfied with a 5-1 victory once a week.”

That victory Boudreau is referring to came Thursday against the Ottawa Senators. That is one of only four wins for the Wild since the beginning of March.

The Wild have a relatively light schedule to end the season. They play the Colorado Avalanche twice, beginning Sunday, and the Arizona Coyotes to close out the regular season. Their toughest opponent figures to be Carolina, which is 7-0-3 in its last 10 games and still clinging to the slimmest of hopes for a playoff spot in the East.

“We can’t take anybody lightly,” said Boudreau. “We’ve got four games left. We’ve got to play them all hard and hopefully we can be consistent come two weeks from now.”

‘That was embarrassing,’ says Boudreau after Wild lose to Canucks

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The Wild continue to struggle and fans on Saturday expressed their frustration.

Think about this: The visiting Canucks are terrible at scoring goals, ranked 29th in the league in that category. Yet they managed to score four goals in the second period against the Wild. So bad was Minnesota’s performance to that point that there was a Bronx cheer directed at goalie Darcy Kuemper after he made a save on a harmless shot and fans later booed the Wild off the ice into the intermission.

It’s bad when the Canucks, 27th in the overall standings, embarrass an opposing team.

The Wild failed once again to clinch a playoff spot after a 4-2 loss. That score flattered the home team, which got late goals from Ryan Suter and Eric Staal. Too little, too late. Afterward, coach Bruce Boudreau lit into his team.

“That was embarrassing. I’m embarrassed,” Boudreau told reporters. “To me, if I was the fans, I’d be booing even more because they pay good money for this.”

As far as the playoffs are concerned, the Wild are in, even if they haven’t yet officially secured a spot. Sports Club Stats is giving them a 100 per cent chance of qualifying for the post-season.

But prior to this month, Minnesota looked like a team that could do some serious damage in the playoffs. That’s not to suggest they are suddenly incapable of going on any prolonged run but they very clearly have some issues that need to be addressed over the next few of weeks.

“Yeah, it wasn’t good enough,” Jason Zucker told the Pioneer Press.

“We are leaving guys open. We aren’t winning battles. We are hanging our goalies out to dry. … I don’t think we’re prepared enough to start some periods and they score and we’re not being resilient enough to come back.”

Meanwhile, for the Canucks, this game should provide at least a glimmer of optimism for their fans. Less than 24 hours after his college season ended with a double overtime loss to Boston University, Brock Boeser signed an entry-level deal and made his NHL debut versus the Wild.

What a debut it was.

Boeser, a first-round pick of the Canucks in 2015, scored the winning goal and was tied for the team-lead in shots on goal with four alongside Reid Boucher, who also scored twice.

The unfortunate news? Jack Skille left the game with an ankle injury and didn’t return. The outlook doesn’t look good, as Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins said afterward, “I wouldn’t expect to see Skille in the line-up for a while.”

Only eight games remain in Vancouver’s season.