With forwards Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund out for the foreseeable future with injuries, Minnesota Wild coach Bruce Boudreau has been grappling with a slightly shortened bench since Saturday's game. At the Chicago Blackhawks at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the coach will make a few tweaks.
“You know what, I’ll be doing things a bit differently," Boudreau said of making use of seven defensemen and 11 forwards in the most recent game. "I still try to make the 11 forwards into four lines. It wasn’t that it was confusing or anything, it was so many different combinations during the course of the game that I might do something different.”
Boudreau added that didn't mean moving defensemen up, but rather "mostly three lines with the other two guys doing something specific." Despite this personnel shortage, Boudreau said the idea of sending defenseman Mike Reilly down in order to gain another forward hadn't "been brought up to him."
But the coach said he isn't letting his team's injury woes or cap crunch so early in the season worry him.
"In all honesty ... I come to work every morning, and whoever’s here is here," Boudreau said. "Everything is a challenge. In a perfect world, would you like 12 [forwards] and six [defensemen]? Yeah, but I think this is a great challenge, and I don’t think it will happen all year long. Time will tell, but usually things work their way out.”
While Parise practiced again Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center while recovering from an undisclosed injury, Granlund again missed and will likely be out the next four games with a groin injury.
#MNWild coach Bruce Boudreau on Parise and what his plan is without him and Granlund in the lineup. pic.twitter.com/1EFyDrDca1— Megan Ryan (@theothermegryan) October 11, 2017