As Charlie Coyle
entered the post-game press conference room after practice today, he spied Henry, sitting at the front of the room, sporting an oversized Wild jersey. He smiled and introduced himself, to which the five-year-old quickly responded, “I already know you,” with a big grin spreading across his face.
Coyle and Henry were already acquaintances, of course, as a simple wave during warm ups on Dec. 8 made the pair an Internet sensation. Today, they finally met and got the chance to chat. While the youngster was a little quiet at first, he warmed up in no time and showed his rambunctious personality. As they pair talked, the subjects varied on all things hockey — from who would win in a race, Coyle or Henry, to Henry’s desire to be a goalie — and of course the number of girlfriends Henry now has due to his Internet fame. It’s five, if you were wondering.
In a moment of pure joy for both Henry and his older sister Madeline, the forward signed their new Coyle sweaters, this year’s Christmas gifts. In return they each gave him a present: a Wild logo drawing from Henry and a red, green and white bracelet from Madeline.
Coyle wasn’t the only Wild player to spend some time with the kids. Ryan Suter also stopped by for a quick hello. And although the Lighthouse couldn’t be there for that meeting, word is it was just as great as Coyle’s.
There’s no question meeting Henry and Madeline was a nice distraction after a hard practice Monday morning following the team’s fifth straight loss.
“Understandably not joyous and chipper,” Head Coach Mike Yeo said of the mood this morning. “But I thought as practice wore on we got a little more life and had some more talk. Certainly we put the work in.”
While there are some positives to take away from the Wild’s recent outings — specifically its ability to find the back of the net — looking back at tape only reaffirms the Wild’s struggle to close out those wins, which doesn’t help a team that’s low on confidence, according to the Bench Boss.
“Both the last couple of games have been right there for us, it’s just we’re finding ways to lose a game right now as opposed to finding ways to win a game,” Yeo said. “We have to keep that mentality that you can’t get too high and you can’t get too low.”
Though the breakdowns the Wild has had, like the trip ups in the defensive end, are problems Yeo feels the team can rectify, which he sees as a positive. The tougher thing to do is fixing what’s going on mentally.
“You work. You just work through it,” Yeo said. “Good teams still go through these things, but they react the right way and they get better because of it. So let’s look at it as an opportunity, as a challenge.”
Wild Recalls Blum
Earlier today the Wild recalled defenseman Jonathan Blum from the Iowa Wild.
Defenseman Jared Spurgeon was notably missing from practice, though Yeo said it was simply a maintenance day for the blueliner. As a result, Blum is insurance for the Wild at the moment, though Yeo did say he could make his was into the lineup.
“Despite coming up from the minors he is a veteran guy,” Yeo said of Blum. “If you put him in the lineup, what you expect to see from him is consistency."