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Wild practice: Coyle out tonight, McMillan in

  • Blog Post by: Rachel Blount
  • November 3, 2013 - 12:18 PM

Wild forward Charlie Coyle, who just returned to the lineup Friday after missing 11 games because of a sprained knee, will miss at least one more. Coach Mike Yeo said Sunday morning that Coyle won't play Sunday night against New Jersey because he "reaggravated'' his injury. Yeo doesn't expect him out for long; Coyle did practice Saturday, though he skipped Sunday's optional morning skate.

Carson McMillan was recalled from Iowa on Sunday morning. With the Wild's AHL affiliate now conveniently located only one state south, McMillan hopped in his truck and drove up I-35. He participated in the morning skate. Mikko Koivu, Matt Cooke and Kyle Brodziak did not, though Yeo said they were just taking the morning off to conserve energy for the game.

Yeo said Josh Harding will start in goal, but he would not discuss which defensemen would play or how the Wild's lines would look.

Regarding Coyle, Yeo said, "He’s definitely been cleared (to play). It was just a day-to-day thing, more precautionary than anything else. It’s a long season and we don’t want to push it. ... We'll just keep him out for tonight and see how he does tomorrow.''

Yeo on McMillan, who has two goals, four assists and is plus-4 in seven games for Iowa: "It's an opportunity for sure. Obviously, when a guy goes down, there's more opportunity for somebody. Somebody moves up a line, and somebody moves into the lineup. This is his chance. He had a very strong training camp. He deserves this opportunity. He's been playing very well in Iowa.

"The best part for him is it should be able to translate. We’re not asking him to go out and score three goals. That would be nice, but what we’re asking of him is to be a big body, be strong on the puck, get to the offensive zone, play well defensively. And certainly those are things he’s capable of doing.''

Harding will start his second consecutive game and continues to lead the NHL in goals-against average (1.22) and save percentage (.946). Yeo stopped short, though, of saying he is the clear No. 1.

"I don’t want to say anybody's taking over the role,'' Yeo said. "He’s been playing very well, and he deserves to play the next game. That's kind of what we said going into the season. We don’t really have a set plan, but certainly, he deserves to be in the net tonight the way he’s played.''

That's a wrap for me. Russo has arrived back in Minnesota and will be in his rightful place for tonight's game.

RACHEL BLOUNT

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