Minnesota Wild interim Head Coach John Torchetti thought his team was ready for the New York Islanders on Tuesday night in Saint Paul, a 4-1 loss and the first defeat he has tasted since taking over behind the bench on Feb. 15. But Torchetti has been a hockey coach far too long to let one game get to him.
“You know, we didn’t get what we wanted,” Torchetti said. “We went over it. We did our film yesterday before practice, discussed it, move on and bring some energy tonight, and we’ve got to play a good road game.”
Coming off the loss and going on the road without forwards Zach Parise (upper body injury, day-to-day) and Jason Zucker (concussion, Injured Reserve) is just another day and Torchetti is taking it in stride.
“It’s hockey. You’re missing a good player and you just move on,” Torchetti said. “That’s it. You’ve got to work with what you’ve got, and don’t worry about what you don’t have.”
What he does have now is forward Jordan Schroeder, recalled from the Iowa Wild late Tuesday night. Schroeder brings speed to the lineup, and will fill Parise’s spot on the top line against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday.
“We want to use that speed for sure,” Torchetti said. “We need some more speed because now with Zach and Zucker out, it’s a lot of speed missing in your lineup. So we want to make sure we instill it and it’s a good opportunity for him, let’s see what he does with it and we’ll go from there.”
Mikko Koivu, centering that top line,said he wants to help make Schroeder's transition as seamless as possible.
“I’m trying to be there for him to help him adjust to the game and adjust to the speed right away and make sure he feels comfortable going out there,” Koivu said. "We know him as a player so it shouldn’t be too hard to get on the same page and, like I said, we definitely want to use his speed.”
Speed, communication, and execution will be critical for every member of the Wild when facing a Flyers team that emphasizes its forecheck.
“We’ve got to be able to handle their forecheck,” Torchetti said. “They come pretty heavy on it, so we’ve got to make sure we’re strong on the walls, get good center and low support. Everyone talking, and trying to make out-exits a little bit quicker.”
Here is the Wild's projected lineup:
Jordan Schroeder – Mikko Koivu – Charlie Coyle
Chris Porter – Mikael Granlund – Thomas Vanek
Nino Niederreiter – Erik Haula – Jason Pominville
Ryan Carter – Jarret Stoll – Justin Fontaine
Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Marco Scandella – Matt Dumba
Mike Reilly – Christian Folin