Big Charlie Coyle gets a big opportunity.
Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune file
Demotions, promotions: Few spared in Wild shakeup
- Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO
- Star Tribune
- February 4, 2013 - 12:58 PM
GLENDALE, ARIZ. - If you weren't sure how much urgency there needs to be during this lockout-condensed schedule, the Wild made it clear Sunday with a series of lineup adjustments in response to a bad loss in Anaheim.
In a second consecutive practice in preparation for Monday's game against the Coyotes, hotshot rookie Charlie Coyle arrived in Arizona and landed on the second line and second power-play unit, the second, third and fourth lines were revamped and conspicuous messages were delivered to struggling forwards Devin Setoguchi and Mikael Granlund.
Setoguchi and Granlund rotated spots on the fourth line, meaning there's a chance one will be scratched against the Coyotes.
"We can't be afraid to try things and to mix things up," coach Mike Yeo said. "We can't just sit here and say we owe it to anybody -- whether they're a veteran or high pick or anything. We have to put the best lineup on the ice every night."
Coyle, 20, will make his NHL debut on the right side of Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Matt Cullen. Speedy Torrey Mitchell moved to the third line with Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak, while Yeo resisted the "temptation" to break up the first line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley after a couple of tough games.
Regardless who among Setoguchi, Granlund, Zenon Konopka and Darroll Powe sits out, Yeo definitely got the attention of Setoguchi and Granlund.
Setoguchi, who came to Minnesota in the same trade with San Jose that brought Coyle to Minnesota in June 2011, is coming off a career-low 19 goals last season. In eight games this season, Setoguchi has no goals and 10 shots.
"We went into this season counting on him to score goals and create offense for us and to use his speed and to be strong on pucks," Yeo said. "He's not the only one. There's some other people that aren't performing probably to the level we need them to. So this is the decision we take going into [Monday's] game, and we'll be ready to make new ones again after that."
Setoguchi, the subject of trade rumors, knows he has to be better.
"Personally, I'm disappointed," he said. "If you're not contributing, it's disappointing. Collectively we need more from other than the top guys. That's my job personally and it's a couple other guys' jobs. We need to be better."
On landing on the fourth line, Setoguchi said: "It's frustrating, but you can't really sit and sulk about it and dwell on it. ... If I'm in, I'm in. If not, then I try to get back in the lineup."
Asked if he is concerned about Setoguchi's play, General Manager Chuck Fletcher said: "We need to get a lot more out of our second and third lines. We need more scoring chances, more shots and more offense from a few of them. It's early yet, but it'll become late quickly here if we don't get going. The next step is to shift the lines a bit, mix the personnel and see if that ignites some players."
Granlund, 20, scored in his NHL debut Jan. 19 but has only two assists in seven games since. Physically, he has been overmatched, and defensively, he has struggled lately.
"He's a young kid and we have to give him a fair chance, but at the same time, there has to be a little more on his side," Yeo said. "We'll do everything we can to help him grow through the whole process of it. I'd definitely like to see him bring a real hungry attitude to the next game."
Coyle, who will be the first player to wear No. 63 in Wild history (his jersey number will likely change to No. 3 once he's a regular), was having dinner Saturday night after seeing the movie "Zero Dark Thirty" when he got summoned to Phoenix.
"So it was a good day," Coyle said, laughing. "It's something I've been looking forward to since I was little. It's something I've worked towards since I was little and it's finally paying off."
Coyle, drafted 28th overall by the Sharks in 2010, got the call over fellow prospects Jason Zucker and Johan Larsson in large part because of his 6-2, 222-pound frame.
"Our wall play hasn't been very good and we're not very big, and that's what Charlie brings," Fletcher said. "He's as good as anybody on the wall. Good stick, he's smart, he's got poise, he's big and he's got skill."
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