After mini slump, Wild’s Matt Boldy has found his scoring touch again
Winger riding 3-game goal streak into Thursday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Wild winger Matt Boldy can usually be seen beaming whenever he’s around the rink. He’s relaxed in his approach to the game he loves. His chill vibes are personified through his perfectly coiffed middle part.
Yet for a few weeks this past month, though, Boldy seemed on edge whenever he entered the Wild locker room. He was gripping the stick a little too tight on the ice as he struggled through a mini slump. He was thinking a little too much off the ice as he tried to get back on track.
It’s probably not a coincidence that Boldy busted out of his slump shortly after coach Dean Evason gave his players a couple of days off shortly before Thanksgiving.
“I think getting a couple of days off is nice to reset, just get my head away from all those thoughts I have going on when things aren’t going my way,” Boldy said.
On Nov. 23, he scored a goal against the rival Winnipeg Jets. On Nov. 25, he scored a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs. On Nov. 27, he scored a goal against the Arizona Coyotes and is riding that three-game goal streak into Thursday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
“Not much,” Boldy said. “Just sticking with my game and trying to stay mentally there rather than letting it bother me too much. Just staying patient with it.”
“I think he simplified his game,” Evason said. “He was trying to make too many passes and the perfect play as opposed to going straightforward.”
That straightforward approach is something Boldy has focused on as of late. He knows he’s most effective when he uses his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame to carve out space.
“He’s skated well,” Evason said. “He’s getting to the net and he’s shooting the puck.”
Asked about Boldy last week, linemate Freddy Gaudreau replied, “Just a big frame with such great skill.”
That skill was evident on his most recent goal. It was a thing of beauty when Boldy buried a perfect pass from superstar winger Kirill Kaprizov, the type of goal people would expect out of a dynamic scorer. Boldy dropped to a knee before wiring the puck into the back of the net.
“You’ve got to be ready for it when he’s got the puck,” Boldy said. “From my angle, I kind of saw a little bit of a seam. Obviously, I knew he saw it. Just got to be ready for it.”
Still, as impressive as Boldy has been as of late, he’s most concerned with the wins. The Wild take a 10-9-2 mark into Thursday’s game.
“It’s obviously nice to score,” he said. “There’s still parts of my game I want to be better, with like possessing pucks and making more plays. If we win the game, that’s the important part. The goals are nice but it’s nothing too crazy. I’d take that win over a goal any day.”
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