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A recent 10-game point streak for Wild center Erik Haula contributed to a late-season stretch that has the team primed to make the postseason for a fourth consecutive year. Haula, who had only 13 points in his first 49 games this season, has taken off since the switch from head coach Mike Yeo to John Torchetti. Haula chatted recently with the Star Tribune's Michael Rand:

Q How do you even get on a point streak like that?

A I think you focus on every single game and leave all the other stuff behind. The most important thing is to try to play at the same level every night. With the team as a whole, we've been able to play some good hockey and 60-minute games, which helps every individual.

Q The Wild has been on a lot of different streaks as a team this year, both up and down. What's the difference in coming to practice when you're on a roll instead of in a rut?

A You get up easier in the morning. Like you said, we've been through this a few times here, and we know mentally what a battle that can be. But staying strong and staying together is important. It starts with our leadership, and they've done a good job.

Q Have you figured out other keys to not falling back into slumps as a team?

A Everyone has their roles. Buying into what we're trying to do as a team is a big part of it. I feel like a lot of our play is in the neutral zone. If we can control the blue lines and try to get pucks in deep and make the other team work, that plays into our game plan.

Q Your game in particular has jumped up since the coaching change. What has Torchetti brought to the mix?

A He's brought a lot of positivity. Sometimes it happens when a new face comes in. But he's done a great job, I feel like, with everybody. It's been a lot of fun. He's an energetic guy on the bench and a little bit different from what we had earlier maybe. Things are going well, and hopefully we can keep them going.

Q Take me back to 2008, when you came to the United States from Finland to play at Shattuck-St. Mary's. Looking back on that, what was the transition like?

A There were some emotions up and down for sure. Missing home, still being a young guy [17] that first year. Shattuck isn't a big environment, and it's in a pretty small town [Faribault]. There's not a whole lot to do, so sometimes you get a little down. But it was a really good starting point. I got to settle in, and the hockey aspect was great.

Q You committed to the Gophers in 2009 and were drafted in the seventh round by the Wild a few months later. Not a lot of guys end up making it this far in the NHL from that spot. At that point, what were your pro aspirations?

A I was disappointed in that. I kind of tried to prove everybody wrong. I went into every day just worrying about getting better and trying to put the work in. It's played out well.

Q Do you still carry that mentality?

A Different things come in trying to prove people wrong. I had a tough year last year, so I just wanted to play good hockey this year. It's been fun.