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Torchetti Readies For Second Home Debut, Indoors

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild interim Head Coach John Torchetti said it feels like he's been on the road for nine days.

It's not technically true by the lay of the NHL schedule, but in some respects, Torchetti is dead-on.

"To me, I'm excited to be here," Torchetti said. "And it's indoors."

His official home debut was on Sunday, when the Wild defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 in the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Torchetti's Saint Paul debut, in front of a modest crowd that figures to be around 18,000, compared to the 50,000-plus on Sunday, is on Tuesday night against the New York Islanders.

"It was an exciting weekend, and the outdoor game was fantastic," Torchetti said. "We had a good time, but now we have to reset for tonight, and start doing the job at home."

Prior to that, the Wild spent five days in Western Canada, sweeping a three-game road trip in Torchetti's opening games. After being promoted from the Iowa Wild late last Saturday, Torchetti met the team on Sunday for practice, but not at Xcel Energy Center.

"Just getting in here full-time yesterday was good, and just getting my legs back underneath me," said Torchetti, who was last seen in the Wild's home arena in September for training camp. "Getting some pre-scouts done, and then getting some work done on individual from the prior game against the Blackhawks.

"I'm just trying to do little adjustments with them one-on-one, and talking about their games moving forward, and talking about other guy's line assignments."

The Wild has been talking about fresh slates, and hitting the reset button upon Torchetti taking over the coaching reins. 

In the same respect, Torchetti and the Wild also wants to change its fortunes on its actual home ice. Its victory on Sunday improved the Wild to 15-10-4 in home games. However, Minnesota has lost eight consecutive games (0-5-3) in Saint Paul.

"One thing moving forward is we want to start winning some games at home," Torchetti said. "I know it's been a little while since we won here. Tonight's a good start for us; hit the reset again."

With 12 of its 23 remaining games on the calendar in Saint Paul, and the Wild in the thick of the playoff race, turning home games into points could be crucial to Minnesota finding itself in the Western Conference's top eight.

"It's just all about trying to get the wins now, and staying with everybody in the race for the playoffs, and just keep getting our game better here," Torchetti said. "We have to establish our home ice, and make sure that it's hard to play in our building."

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