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Wild look for inspiration after Coyotes meltdown

ST. PAUL — Perhaps it was fitting that Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" was blaring over the speakers in the Wild locker room Friday, Feb. 9, nearly 12 hours after the team fighting for its playoff lives blew a three-goal lead and lost to the lowly Arizona Coyotes on home ice.

As reporters filed in following a 25-minute practice, Marcus Foligno and a few of his teammates could be heard belting out the chorus as they packed up their belongings and left for the day.

Singing 'don't worry 'bout a thing

'Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Singing 'don't worry 'bout a thing

'Cause every little thing gonna be alright

Maybe it was the Wild trying to convince themselves that was the case heading into a match-up with the rival Chicago Blackhawks at 7 p.m. Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

"It's just the tunes we like to listen to," Nino Niederreiter insisted. "At the end of the day, we know how important that next game is."

Frankly, the only reason any players had enough wind to break into song after practice was because coach Bruce Boudreau decided — for once — not to skate his team into the ice. He has done it so many times after poor performances in the past, and while he certainly wanted to do it again on this particular day, he decided to listen to the advice of strength and conditioning coach Sean Skahan.

"They all wear the heart monitors nowadays," Boudreau said, explaining that the data from the past couple weeks showed players were starting to get overtired "(He) said, 'Hey. Listen. We're up there (on the monitors), so it shouldn't be too taxing today.' "

"If this was the olden days, it would have been a two-hour skate out there," Boudreau continued, adding that it was tough for him to bite his tongue. "If I don't listen to the strength (and conditioning) guys and listen to the trainers when things are like that, what do we have them for?"

One place Boudreau didn't have to be so careful with during a lengthy video session before practice. Needless to say it wasn't pretty.

"I mean, there were some guys that were stars of the video," Boudreau said. "There could have been an awful lot more clips. I think they got the point that we weren't very good last night and we've got to be a lot better if we want to do anything."

With the Wild clinging to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, that needs to start Saturday against the Blackhawks.

"We are talking inside the locker room a lot about consistency and bring the same effort (every night)," Gustav Olofsson said. "We can't just get up for the big games. Those are just as important points as any other team. It comes from within. It's a tough stretch of games, too, and we have to really buckle down when it comes to game time."

Loov machine

After being acquired from the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, defenseman Viktor Loov practiced with the Wild on Friday.

While early reports are that he won't play against the Blackhawks, him practicing in any capacity means he's likely to make his Wild debut sooner than later.

"All I know is he looks like he's got an NHL body," Boudreau said. "He looks strong. You know, he's bigger, and that's not a bad thing."

Loov described himself as a blue liner who can do a bit of everything. He was ecstatic when he heard the news of the trade.

"I thought it was a positive thing," Loov said. "I've been playing AHL like all season and felt like I've been a little bit stuck here. Hopefully I'll get the chance here. We'll see."

Honoring dad

Zach Parise and his wife, Alisha, celebrated the birth of their third child at 9:20 a.m. Thursday.

The couple named the boy Theodore Jean-Paul Parise, honoring Parise's father, JP Parise, who died of lung cancer on Jan. 7 , 2015.

"That middle name is pretty self-explanatory," Parise said. "We had that picked out way before any of it. We were just looking for a first name that flowed with it. I don't have to explain how important my dad was to me and to our family, so that was a no-brainer."

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