PITTSBURGH -- Bruce Boudreau spent a couple of minutes at the epicenter of the hockey universe Tuesday night, Jan. 14, and not in a good way.
After the Wild coach submitted his lineup card like he always does before the game in Pittsburgh, officials made their way over to the Minnesota bench just before puck drop against the Penguins to say there was a problem.
Somehow, Boudreau listed defenseman Greg Pateryn as a scratch on the lineup card, even though he was slotted to play, and instead listed winger Ryan Donato as active when he was a scratch.
That meant Pateryn had to return to the locker room, leaving the Wild with only five defensemen against the run-and-gun Penguins, and Donato had to get dressed as quickly as he could.
Not exactly an ideal situation for anyone involved. Donato, thinking he was off for the night, had just eaten a burger before the game and was putting himself through a workout in the PPG Paints Arena gym.
“I was watching the national anthem and everything (on TV), and then I saw them go over to the bench and then I saw (Pateryn) walking off, and I was, like, ‘What’s going on?’ ” Donato said. “I don’t know what time I got out there. It felt like I was in a dream. It was kind of a haze.”
So the game started badly for Boudreau — and got worse by the minute. The Wild were routed 7-3.
That lopsided final score paved the way for a lengthy heart-to-heart between general manager Bill Guerin and Boudreau after the game, with the lineup card snafu at the forefront of the conversation.
“He was great about it,” Boudreau said. “He said it was an honest mistake. I’m a lot harder on myself than that. That’s the first time in 25 years that that’s happened, and I don’t ever want it to happen again.”
Moving forward, Boudreau vowed to double- and triple-check his lineup card, and have the rest of his coaching staff do the same.
“It’s a really bad feeling as a coach for that to happen,” Boudreau said. “I hope it never happens to anybody else.”
Rest is a weapon
After such a painful loss Tuesday during which pretty much everyone looked off their game, Boudreau knew he had a couple of options for Wednesday morning.
“It was one of those days where we thought it could go two ways,” the coach said. “It’s either take them out and bag skate them, or tell them to get rid of hockey today, go home, and come back with a fresh mind tomorrow ready to go.”
He opted for the latter, emphasizing how most everyone looked more mentally tired than physically tired finishing off the team’s recent 1-5-1 stretch.
“That’s what we chose to do,” Boudreau said. “I guess time will tell whether it was the right thing or the wrong thing.”
Things don’t get any easier for the Wild with the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning coming to town Thursday night.
“That’s the hottest team in the league,” Boudreau said. “It’s going to be a real challenge for us.”
Seeler back up
Nick Seeler was recalled from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League on Wednesday after a six-game conditioning assignment.
It’s unclear whether Seeler will draw into Thursday’s lineup. He hasn’t played in an NHL game in more than a month.
“I think he’ll be there for practice (on Thursday morning),” Boudreau said. “Now we have a full complement of 23 players. We haven’t set the lineup yet. I guess it’s a wait-and-see type thing.”