Moorhead's Cullen has sights set on another Stanley CupSt. Paul, MN (WDAY TV) - There is never a good time to be out of the lineup and to have it happen right now has to drive Moorhead native Matt Cullen crazy. Cullen was injured Monday night in the Wild's loss to the Blues and will be out for the next 2 games. The timing couldn't be worse as the former Spud has been playing some of the best hockey of his career.
By: Jody Norstedt, WDAY
St. Paul, MN (WDAY TV) - There is never a good time to be out of the lineup and to have it happen right now has to drive Moorhead native Matt Cullen crazy. Cullen was injured Monday night in the Wild's loss to the Blues and will be out for the next 2 games. The timing couldn't be worse as the former Spud has been playing some of the best hockey of his career.
When you're the oldest guy on the team, critics are quick to say you've lost a step. That's what Matt Cullen was hearing after a slow start to this shortened season, but after a dip in the fountain of youth he's the Wild's hottest player, having scored 19 points in the last 19 games.
Matt Cullen – 35 Games, 7 Goals, 18 Assists: “It was one of those things where you can never duplicate that game speed. We did a lot of skating down here and we had a good group of guys. We were able to get in good shape, but once you get into the season sometimes it takes a little bit to get into it.”
Team chemistry and winning have gone hand-in-hand for Minnesota, and Cullen admits that new additions Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have played a huge role in that.
Matt Cullen: “They've added a lot of skill to our team. but it's also added a lot of character to this group. We have a really good group of guys and I think that carries on over to the ice a little bit. So adding two good character guys like that that have had a history of winning and that success has helped us a lot.”
While Cullen is focused on getting his team into the playoffs this year, one other thing looms over his head - he's in the final year of his contract, but it it's up to him he'll finish his career in a Wild sweater.
Matt Cullen: “That would be great. We have to see what happens here. I'm hoping to win a Stanley Cup here, this year! We'll just have to see, we just have to take it as it comes.”
Cullen is one of few on the Wild that have won a Cup. He hoisted Lord Stanley with Carolina back in 2006, and although it's early he feels this team has what it takes to make a deep run.
Matt Cullen: “If you're going to be successful in the playoffs you're going to have to get that confidence within your group and that trust. I think that that's something that has been growing here. It comes a lot quicker when you start winning some games. You know, when you get that confidence it makes you a dangerous team. We have a good skill level. We have the right pieces in place. If we can maintain that level of confidence and keep our play where it is and continue to grow as a team anything could happen.”
Head Coach Mike Yeo hopes Cullen can return to the lineup on Sunday when the Wild are in Columbus.