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Wild's Chris Stewart trying to stay positive despite healthy scratches

Minnesota Wild forward Chris Stewart (10) shoots in the second period against Ottawa Senators goalie Mike Condon (1) last month at Xcel Energy Center. Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL—Chris Stewart is one of the most beloved players in the Minnesota Wild locker room. Not surprising considering he's consistently the biggest hype man on the team and isn't afraid to drop the gloves at a moment's notice.

Those are the things Stewart tries to remember when he gets frustrated about his recent lack of playing time. He knows he has to continue to be a positive voice despite being a healthy scratch in three of the past six games.

"It's definitely about sacrifices," Stewart said. "I've just got to worry about things that I can control and get prepared to play every day. When I'm in, I'm in. When I'm out, I'm out. There's no time to dwell on it because there's a lot of back-to-backs coming up here."

Stewart has 12 points (8 goals, 4 assists) this season, doing most of his damage early on when the Wild were shorthanded because of multiple injuries.

Now that the team is back to full strength, there isn't enough playing time to go around. The current roster features 13 forwards, meaning one player has to sit out every game.

"You've just got to stick with it," Stewart said. "There's a bigger picture here, and it's bigger than me, so I've got to worry about things I can control."

Stewart isn't the only player who has had to deal with down time. Matt Cullen sat out last game against the Dallas Stars, and Tyler Ennis missed a game against the Ottawa Senators a couple of weeks ago.

"You've got to battle for a spot in the lineup," Stewart said. "That's what I'm going to do."

Super bowl homeboy

Nino Niederreiter and Tyler Ennis were at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday night, Jan. 4, to watch the Philadelphia Eagles upset the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

"Not the outcome I was looking for," said Niederreiter, a 25-year-old forward from Switzerland who is a huge fan of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. "Overall it was a great game. I enjoyed it."

Niederreiter and Ennis sat a few rows up in the Eagles end zone. It was the first time either attended a Super Bowl

"Especially with it being in Minnesota, it couldn't have been any better," Niederreiter said. "It was a great atmosphere. ... It seemed like from what I heard, everybody was enjoying it. It was special to see."

Ennis, a 28-year-old Canadian, said he might be indebted to Niederreiter now considering he bought the tickets.

"I owe him big time," Ennis said. "I'll buy him a nice dinner or something."

Not enough St. Paul

Did Bruce Boudreau watch Super Bowl LII?

"Duh," the 63-year-old Wild coach said. "It was a great game."

Boudreau added that he thought the entire state did itself proud with everything that went into Super Bowl week.

His only complaint?

"I wish they would've mentioned St. Paul a little bit more," Boudreau said. "They always talked about Minneapolis. I think St. Paul is proud of themselves and the way they acted and the things they did for the Super Bowl. I'm pretty proud to be living here."

The St. Paul Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service

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