ST. PAUL — Brad Hunt was conspicuously absent from practice several times last week and hasn’t played in a game in more than 10 days.

Similarly, Mikko Koivu missed the past couple of games with an illness, though he appears ready to return to the lineup for Wednesday’s home game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Still, to say there’s a bug circulating through the locker room wouldn’t be accurate because the Wild are doing everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen.

It hasn’t gone as far as quarantining sick players when they are at the rink. Actually, it’s much simpler than that, according to coach Bruce Boudreau.

“I think the players are really good at phoning (athletic trainer) John Worley in the middle of the night or whatever, and he’ll have them go straight to the doctor,” Boudreau said. “If the doctor says to stay away, then they stay away.”

That makes everything easier on the sick players since they don’t have to worry about rushing back to the ice before they are ready.

“You just listen to what the medical staff says,” said Koivu, who claims to be back to 100 percent. “They know what they are doing.”

It’s not too hard for sick players to stay away since the last thing they want to do is spread their illness around the locker room.

“We are all here to do our job and everybody wants to give it everything they’ve got,” Hunt said. “You just don’t want to hurt anybody else to do that. Just be smart about it.”

Plus, Hunt couldn’t have done much last week even if he wanted to push it.

“Just no energy and no urge to eat anything,” he said of his illness. “It was just a sickness. A lot of people have it at this time of the year. It is what it is.”

Ever the optimist, Hunt noted that the most important thing was not getting too down in the dumps.

“It was tough for a bit,” he said. “You just stay positive and try to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Power surge

After struggling immensely on the power play for the better part of a month, the Wild are in the midst of a hot streak.

They have more power-play goals over the past week (7 for 13) than they had in the previous 18 games combined (6 for 51).

“Everything seems to go in cycles,” Boudreau said. “If we continue to do the right things and work at it all the time, and we work at it as much as any team, everything is going to get where we want it. And for us, being over 20 percent is really good. That’s where we have been the last few years, and I think once we get a little bit of confidence it starts to snowball.”

How about the penalty kill?

“I wish the same thing could be said about that,” Boudreau said. “We aren’t there yet.”

Trap game?

Everything about Wednesday’s game looks like an easy win for the Wild. Not only will they be extra motivated heading into a week-long break, they are playing the lowly Red Wings, who are far and away the worst team in the league with a 12-34-4 record and 28 points in 50 games.

Not that the Wild are overlooking this one.

“We can’t do that,” Koivu said. “It doesn’t matter who it is. We haven’t earned the right to overlook any team we play. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the last game before the break or anything. Just getting those two points is all that matters to us. We can’t afford to lose any ground right now.”