Jason Zucker knew it was bad as soon as he looked at Twitter.
After the 4-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night, Zucker gave an honest assessment of the Wild this season, noting how everyone has to be better. His biggest problem, of course, was that he mentioned only coach Bruce Boudreau by name.
“It’s going to be each individual guy from (coach) Bruce (Boudreau) on down,” Zucker said after the game. “Bruce has got to be better. We have got to be better. Everybody’s got to be better. That’s it.”
Not surprisingly, the backlash on was nearly instantaneous with keyboard warriors questioning Zucker’s motives.
“After I saw it I said, ‘Oh man. That’s not good,’” Zucker said, taking blame for the entire situation. “It’s 100 percent on me and 100 percent my fault. We are still learning throughout our careers in every way so it’s just another learning experience for me.”
As soon as Zucker got on the team charter on Thursday night he apologized to Boudreau and he doubled down on Saturday morning after an hourlong team practice.
“There was no reason for me to use his name in that quote in any way,” Zucker said. “That’s completely on me. 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. There’s no reason that I should’ve used Bruce’s name in that quote in any way. That’s completely my fault.”
Asked about Zucker’s postgame comments, Boudreau seemed rather unbothered by the entire situation.
“His whole thing was that everybody has to be better,” Boudreau said. “He didn’t intend or want to (single) me out. His actual thing was we’ve got to be better, I’ve got to be better, Bruce has got to be better. I mean, he could have went through the whole organization that has to be better.”
Besides apologizing to Boudreau profusely, Zucker stood by his original assessment of the team as a whole. He talked at length how everybody needed to be better in order to turn things around.
“It’s just being a little more detailed with everything,” Zucker said. “We just have to bear down a little bit more and make sure that every little thing we do we’re doing with 100 percent urgency and making sure that we’re on top of everything.”
As of right now, Zucker still has belief that the Wild can work their way out of it this slump.
“We have gone through this adversity numerous times and we have come out of it every time,” Zucker said. We have had a lot of years where we have been almost down and out and we have come back and played really, really well. That’s what we have to look forward to.”