By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild is learning that if you want to win down the stretch in the NHL, you better get goals from the veterans. Enter John Madden.

“I think especially towards the end, the experience is going to be huge for us. I mean, he’s been there. He knows what it takes and I think it’s something we can all learn from,” said Mikko Koivu, center for the Minnesota Wild.

That’s why Madden is now with the Wild and he understands that.

“Maybe a voice in the dressing room when things aren’t going well or something on the bench when things are hitting the fan — so to speak — to kind of calm the situation and keep sticking to our game plan,” said Madden, center for the Minnesota Wild.

It takes time to win over a locker room and it takes a stellar performance.

“Without question he’s earned the respect in what he’s done throughout his career. And he comes in with the respect of these other guys that have been here and not wanting to step on anybody’s toes,” said Todd Richards, head coach for the Minnesota Wild .

Madden has the benefit of experience. It’s not just that he’s played a lot of years, but it’s where he’s played — like last year with the Chicago Blackhawks in their run for the Stanley Cup.

He said there’s no substitute for what he learned last season.

“You really find out about your teammates and what they’re made of,” said Madden. “You find out that to get where you want to be and to win the Stanley Cup you need your teammates to be there for you at all times and to go through a wall for you. So it was a pretty interesting scenario.


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