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Yeo keeping Wild's lines intact for now

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO
  • Star Tribune
  • January 23, 2013 - 9:04 PM

 

Despite the Wild scoring only six goals in three games -- two by his second and third lines -- coach Mike Yeo isn't planning to tinker with the lineup when the Wild plays its first road game Friday at Detroit.

"We won two games and we could have easily won that game [against Nashville on Tuesday]," Yeo said. "I don't think it's time to mess with things too much."

The first line of Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Dany Heatley is creating chances, and Yeo is happy with the play of the Cal Clutterbuck-Kyle Brodziak-Pierre-Marc Bouchard third line.

When it comes to the second line of rookie Mikael Granlund centering Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi, Yeo is very satisfied with the offensive-zone time. But he plans to meet with the line before Friday.

He wants more of a "middle presence" -- i.e. somebody to go to the net.

"I find a lot of times there's three guys on the outside trying to work the puck around, and we need somebody who's going to score the goal," Yeo said. "So, [either] we define maybe one person from that line or there's a little bit more of a concerted effort from all of them. Not everybody can be the guy to set up the play. Somebody's going to have to finish it."

Standing by

Defenseman Jared Spurgeon has a sore foot after being struck by a shot Tuesday. He sat out Wednesday's practice.

Yeo hopes Spurgeon can practice Thursday and play against the Red Wings. If he can't, rookie Matt Dumba is ready. Or there's a chance Jonas Brodin would make his NHL debut.

Brodin, who broke his collarbone in November, returned to the lineup for AHL Houston on Wednesday night in Milwaukee. The Wild is confident he is ready to play in the NHL.

"He looked really good against guys like Mikko and Zach [in training camp], so if you do that, you can do that against anybody," Yeo said.

Etc.

• Yeo wouldn't reveal which goaltender would start in Detroit, but Josh Harding, who shut out Dallas on Sunday, typically gets most of the starts in Detroit.

• The Red Wings, who haven't missed the playoffs since 1990, are 1-2. Star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and forward Tomas Holmstrom have retired, and six Detroit regulars are hampered by injuries.

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