-- Guess what?
The sun rose today, metaphorically speaking. Well, the Wild did also travel about 1,000 miles to see the sun shining on Springtime here in Denver, too, but, both literally and figuratively, it is a brand new day.
Less than 24 hours after playing two of its best periods of the season in a loss that could have left some players and coaches still scratching their heads, Minnesota arrived revived on Friday afternoon to the same hotel it called home for Games 3 and 4.
It was barely necessary to adjust their watches before the return.
While some players skated at noon today in the Twin Cities, most boarded the plane for the 2 p.m. flight to Colorado and wouldn't break a sweat until an off-ice workout near the team hotel. (That isn't entirely true: The team bus from the airport blew its air conditioning and, with temperatures near 70 and the hot sun beating down, the tinted windows didn't prevent the heat from becoming a factor on the 45-minute ride from the plains to downtown Denver.)
At any rate, the players looked forward to today and can't wait for tomorrow, when their Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Avalanche resumes at 9 p.m. CDT from Pepsi Center. The sun, again, is scheduled to rise.
"It's beautiful, and it is a new day," Brian Rolston said during what turned out to be impromptu media availability in the hotel lobby. "That's the thing about the playoffs. Shift-by-shift, you have put it behind you, whether it's a bad shift or a good shift."
They were almost all good shifts Thursday night in St. Paul, and the game plan remains the same, and it has very little to do with the way the team lost its bearings Tuesday night in Denver. The approach is cliché, maybe, but it worked in almost all phases of the game Thursday in St. Paul.
"We've alluded to it before," Rolston said, "talking in the locker room about, 'Listen, there are going to be highs and lows and we have to stay on an even keel,' and we've been talking about that all along."
Jacques Lemaire was also greeted by a coterie of media when the team arrived to the hotel, referring to the first period Thursday as perhaps his team's best of the year and recognizing the irony of playing so well in a loss as it relates to playing a handful of games at the start of this calendar year where he pleaded with his team to play better in wins.
"I'll take any type of wins," he said of the here and now. "Any type."
The players, after their light workout, will share a team dinner at a local restaurant, rest and make their way to the morning skate at Pepsi Center.
A laugh was shared when a Twin Cities columnist brought up Derek Boogaard's run-in with Ian Laperriere in Thursday night's game.
Laperriere made a b-line for the big winger and wound up taking the worst of the collision he initiated.
Said Lemaire: "Even if [Boogaard] doesn't want to hit you, you don't want to get in contact with this guy. He's too big."
INJURY UPDATE: Here is the official word ...
Radivojevic -- right leg sore, doubtful
Mark Parrish -- did not travel with the team
Nick Schultz -- out
Kurtis Foster -- out
OUTDOOR VIEWING PARTY: The Wild announced today that it will host an outdoor viewing party at the RiverCenter parking ramp across Kellogg Street from Xcel Energy Center. The festivities will begin at 8:30 p.m. CDT after Saturday night's Minnesota Swarm game. For more, click here.
IF NECESSARY: If the Wild is able to force a Game 7 with a win at Pepsi Center, the game will be played in Minnesota at 8 p.m. CDT. For more on that announcement, click here.