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21 October 2019 00:43

Minnesota Wild Bruce Boudreau Jason Zucker

bruce boudreau

Wild's Jason Zucker apologizes for throwing Bruce Boudreau to the wolves

After his postgame comments on Thursday blew up online, Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild is sorry for unintentionally singling out his head coach Bruce Boudreau. Minnesota Wild winger Jason Zucker has done some back-pedalling since his comments about Bruce Boudreau — his team's head coach — began to blow up online following a 4-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Shortly after a closed-door, players-only meeting at the Bell Centre, the 27-year-old had plenty to say to a group of beat writers about the Wild's dreadful 1-6-0 start to the 2019-20 season that has them sitting last in the league's standings. "I think more than (a meeting's) going to have to jumpstart us to be honest with you," Zucker said, per Michael Russo of The Athletic. In fact, by the time Zucker boarded the team's plane in Montreal that night, he received a text from his wife — Carly — warning him not to go onto Twitter, according to Russo.

bruce boudreau

Zucker also explained that upon seeing the reactions online, he immediately went to the front of the plane on Thursday night to apologize to Boudreau. When the story continued to garner attention on Friday and Saturday, Zucker spoke with Boudreau once again ahead of Saturday's practice. Those inside Minnesota's dressing room can only hope that the first seven games of their campaign have also been a learning experience and better times are ahead. The Minnesota Wild are off to an absolutely brutal start to the 2019-20 season having won just one of their first seven games. Following their most recent defeat, a shutout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, Jason Zucker vented some frustration and said that everyone on the team needed to be better.

bruce boudreau

Not exactly an earth-shattering comment for a 1-6 team, but what made it into a story was that he specifically mentioned coach Bruce Boudreau by name. Anytime one of the top player's on a team mentions the coach by name as someone that needs to be better — especially one that is seemingly already on the hot seat — it is going to get some attention. In Zucker's case, it got a little more attention than he wanted, and after apologizing to Boudreau on the team plane after the game on Thursday, publicly apologized on Saturday. "I'll start by first apologizing to Bruce," Zucker told Wild reporters on Saturday, via Michael Russo of The Athletic. My intention with the quote was to state that everybody needs to be better and needs to do more and pull more weight, and 99.9 percent of that is on the players." Zucker has two goals for the Wild through the first seven games of the season.

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Goalie Devan Dubnyk has been on teams stuck in a rut for the entire season, like when he was with Edmonton and the Oilers finished last in the NHL in back-to-back years from 2009-11. "It's not going to be like this all year," Dubnyk said. "More than that's going to have to jump-start us to be honest with you," winger Jason Zucker said at the time. "It's going to be each individual guy from [coach] Bruce [Boudreau] on down. After making those comments, Zucker apologized to Boudreau and again Saturday when the team reconvened for practice. "There was no reason for me to use his name in that quote in any way, so that's completely on me," Zucker said. "My intention with the quote was to state that everybody needs to be better and needs to do more and pull more weight, and 99.9 percent of that is on the players. Zucker did stand by his point that everyone must be better, a message that continues to get reiterated. Last season was the first time in seven years the Wild's downswings prevented the team from making the playoffs. "It's on us, and we all believe we're a good hockey team and we can get wins," Foligno said.