Pierre-Marc Bouchard was the second player off the ice for the Wild at Monday's morning skate. When asked if that was good or bad, Bouchard said, "I'm smiling, right?"

After missing two games because of a broken nose, Bouchard returned Monday night against the Canucks. For a guy with a history of concussions, Bouchard needed to first feel confident he didn't sustain another when his face was smashed into a ledge last week in Winnipeg.

Bouchard felt comfortable, so the playmaker played on a line with Matt Cullen and goal-scorer Dany Heatley -- an intriguing line not yet seen this season. Bouchard didn't score but finished with five shots.