Reusse: Coyle emerging as one of Wild's best rookies

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 24, 2013 - 11:38 AM

When you talk Wild rookies and fantastic futures, Charlie Coyle belongs in the conversation

hide

Charlie Coyle.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Wild had lost five games in a row at the Xcel Energy Center. There were some strong starts that led to nothing, and then the home team would fade into the St. Paul night.

The last home victory was on March 30. It was a shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings that moved the Wild into a tie for third in the West. When the Kings returned on Tuesday night, the Wild was tied for seventh in West, and holding a playoff spot by a precarious point over ninth-place Detroit.

The teams parried for a hunk of the first period, and then the Wild started a push. There were six consecutive shifts, maybe eight, where the Kings were forced backward, and yet there was nothing on the scoreboard.

Was this going to be a replay of most of April in the X?

Not quite.

There were four minutes left and the top line of Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and rookie Charlie Coyle pushed the Kings deep again.

“We turned over the puck too much in the first period,’’ said Darryl Sutter, the crusty Kings coach. “You have to play 60 minutes against a desperate hockey team.’’

There was no desperation with Parise when he cornered the puck to the left of the net. Matt Greene seemed to have the front of the net covered, but Parise saw the 6-foot-2 Coyle open behind the L.A. defenseman.

“The puck just kind of went loose, and I looked for some space behind the guy [Greene],’’ Coyle said. “Zach wound up with puck and made a perfect pass, right on my tape.’’

Coyle put in his eighth goal for a 1-0 lead at 16:21. Finally, there was a reward for the streak of strong shifts. And 16 seconds later, there was another on Cal Clutterbuck’s goal.

The rapid-fire goals in the first period were enough for a 2-1 victory over the Kings. They also were enough to take the pressure off the Wild and put it on the cusp of the playoffs with two games left.

How did Parise fit that pass past Greene’s reach and onto Coyle’s stick? It looked like there was only an inch or 2 of room.

“I didn’t think there was any room,’’ Coyle said. “I don’t know how Zach got the puck through there.’’

Coyle turned 21 on March 2. He started the season with the Houston Aeros, was called up early for five games, and went back to the AHL for nine days.

Coyle came back and played with force. He also teamed with Koivu and Parise.

The Wild changed that briefly after the acquisition of Jason Pominville, as coach Mike Yeo decided to put his high-priced veterans together. That line didn’t look the same without the rugged, rambunctious Coyle on the right side.

Coyle was moved back five games ago. The opponents were the defending Stanley Cup champions and Parise-Koivu-Coyle was the best line on the ice.

Mikael Granlund was the rookie with the big buildup when this season started. He’s back in Houston again.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago WSox - WP: S. Carroll 6 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 2
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 11 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 6
NY Yankees - WP: S. Greene 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: C. Tillman 0
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 2 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 10 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: V. Black 5
Boston - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Fields 3
Minnesota - WP: K. Correia 9 FINAL
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 3
Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 10
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 5 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
Washington - WP: R. Detwiler 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Wilson 6 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover 5
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 5 FINAL
Texas - LP: M. Mikolas 2
San Diego - LP: K. Quackenbush 0 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: K. Jansen 1
Oakland - LP: J. Chavez 2 FINAL
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 6
Colorado 3 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Houston 2 FINAL
Toronto FC 4
Columbus 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
Chicago 1 FINAL
New England 0
Sporting Kansas City 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
Chivas USA 3 FINAL
Vancouver FC 1
Real Salt Lake 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Winnipeg 34 FINAL
Montreal 33
Ottawa 11 FINAL
Edmonton 27
Calgary 34 FINAL
Toronto 15
Brt Columbia 26 FINAL
Saskatchewan 13
Atlanta 93 FINAL
Indiana 74
Washington 91 FINAL
Tulsa 74

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What are you most looking forward to during All-Star festivities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close