There is no better place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than Boston, and tonight the Minnesota Wild will commemorate the holiday in Beantown against the Bruins.
It will be a bit of a homecoming for Wild forward Charlie Coyle, who is a native of East Weymouth, Mass. He expects to have upwards of “a couple hundred” supporters in attendance tonight. Coyle has experience at TD Garden, but this is his first appearance in the arena as a professional.
“You grow up in Boston, or around this area at least, and I’ve played in this building before in Beanpots in college and my high school tournament here,” Coyle said.”
The 22-year-old said that he wants to approach the game like it is just another road contest, but growing up in the shadow of the Garden and watching the Bruins, including current players on the roster, will be a unique experience.
“I used to come here and watch the Bruins play, so that’s pretty special,” Coyle said.
The Wild faces a red-hot Bruins team amidst an eight-game winning streak, its longest since a 10-game run in November 2011. The B’s lead the Eastern Conference with 95 points and is 11-1-2 in its past 14 games. Boston is 9-2-0 in its last 11 contests at home.
Wild forward Zach Parise is on a hot stretch of his own, tallying at least one point in 11 of the last 13 games, and racking up 17 points (8-9=17) in that span. Spending the first seven years of his National Hockey League in the Eastern Conference, he knows the difficult task tonight.
“Since I was playing (in the East), the team hasn’t changed much; it feels like it still has the same identity and a lot of the same players, who play the same way,” Parise said. “Best team, arguably, in the NHL and best team in the East for sure.
“We have to be at our best to play with them.”
Fontaine Re-enters Lineup
Wild forward Justin Fontaine will re-enter the lineup tonight. It’s his first game since March 3. Yeo cites Boston’s depth for a reason to get Fontaine back in. He’ll play on the fourth line with Erik Haula and Dany Heatley.
“We are playing a team that’s very deep, a team that’s going to play four lines and play them effectively,” Yeo said. “So we’re looking to see him come in and hopefully get right to where he was when he came out of the lineup.
“When he’s playing well, he’s playing a strong game in the offensive zone, he’s executing along the wall and he’s a reliable two-way player.”