By Mike Max

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Playoff hockey creates interesting story lines. One of them emerging for the Minnesota Wild has been the play of Jason Zucker.

As recently as a month ago, Zucker didn’t even know he’d be on the post-season roster — and that’s not lost on him just because of that shining moment in Game 3.

Zucker’s goal changed the series, but he’s hoping not his perspective.

He’s been up and down and a strong play off is another step in proving he’s NHL-worthy.

“It’s been a huge process, obviously,” Zucker said. “It’s not easy going up and down, but it’s something I got to learn with and learn from and just try to get my game better, and make sure I’m here all the time.”

Now, focus for Game 4 is paramount, which is a point Zucker’s teammates are trying to impart on him.

“From my experiences, sometimes you get a little too hot, so we’ll just try to talk him down and get back to playing the simple way we have been playing,” forward Devin Setoguchi said.

But you can’t deny that this last week has been one cool ride in the NHL.

“It’s been a ton of fun and a great thing to have my rookie year,” Zucker added.

The Chicago Blackhawks, on the other hand, are not used to game-winning celebrations that don’t involve them.

“You can’t be satisfied with that effort,” Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews said. “We had great goal tending and it kept us in that game all game, and without him, we probably wouldn’t have stood a chance, so it’s up to us to respond.”

What’s scary about the Wild’s Game 3 win, however, is this: did they simply awaken the giant of the NFL for Game 4?


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