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Wild Wants Same Pace, But Ready To Adjust

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild has played a certain way in its past three games under interim Head Coach John Torchetti that led to three victories.

There's also a certain way it feels it has to play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday in the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, but those two things aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

"We'll have to make our adjustments like we do every other game," Torchetti said. "If the ice is chippy, or it's windy, just make the adjustments as we go. You can't really have a set plan."

The Wild has scored five goals in each of its past three games, all ending in regulation, a franchise record. It has played an up-tempo, compass-pointed-north style, but on outdoor ice, simpler can often be more effective.

"It was a big difference, absolutely," Jason Zucker said. "We were able to wear teams down a little bit on that trip, and really get to our game. We had a lot of short shifts, and made sure that we were rolling four lines, and that definitely helps a lot."

When the conditions become a variable, and an unknown, less can often be more.

"For us, you definitely have to keep it simple," Zucker said. "It's a much different game with, you never now how the ice going to be, or how the puck is going to bounce, and those things."

So the Wild will plan to do what it did in Western Canada, and be ready to adjust on the fly based on what Chicago throws at them, as well as Mother Nature.

"We know how we want to play against them, they're a fast team, but condition-wise, I haven't seen a report yet," Torchetti said. "We'll be looking at it tonight to make sure that, once we get to like 12 hours into it, we'll make our adjustments from there."

The reviews of the ice were positive, and with gametime temperatures forecasted to be in the mid-30's, with overcast conditions, the weather report should be favorable.

"We're going to do our best to just focus on the task ahead of us, and just focus on our game, and the things that we can control," Matt Dumba said. "You can't control how good the ice is going to be, or the other elements that are going on around you.

"We're going to do our best to just play our game, and stick with our structure, and hopefully come out with a win."

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