Reporting Mike Max
ST. PAUL (WCCO) — You got the feeling Pierre-Marc Bouchard might be back after he pulled the old spin-o-rama for a goal last week against Edmonton.
“Around the blue line when I saw one of their defensemen fell down. I saw that I had time to pull the move and I’m pretty glad it worked,” said Bouchard.
The statement comes from a year-long comeback after he was shelved with a concussion. He had to be patient.
Brent Burns knows what that means, having endured a similar situation.
“I told him he’s probably not going to feel his best until he gets a full summer of training. But he’s a pretty special player and … him at 90 percent is better than a lot of people at 100,” said Burns.
Another part of his game that may have changed is because of the time he sat on the bench and watched, unable to play. He began to appreciate — appreciate how special it is to be able to play in the NHL.
Add to that that he is important to this team and that he feels good again.
“It’s really fun to be back. I really appreciate having another chance to be healthy and be part of it,” said Bouchard.
Going down the play-off stretch, the Wild need him to be what he’s been of late.
“When you miss a full season, you don’t know what you’re going to get but to me he looks more engaged out on the ice in the games now. The intensity has picked up, the physicality has picked up and he hasn’t shied away from that at all,” said head coach Todd Richards.