With season opener looming, players still learning system

  • Article by: BRIAN STENSAAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 29, 2011 - 1:09 AM

The opener is nine days away, and to this point the Wild is still thinking about its next move on the ice during games, new coach Mike Yeo said.

Wild coach Mike Yeo

Photo: Andy King, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Wednesday morning's film review of Tuesday's loss to St. Louis didn't reveal any surprises. What Wild coach Mike Yeo thought he saw live was confirmed when played on a screen hours later.

The team still isn't quite getting his system.

"It's never going to be a perfect game, there's always going to be mistakes and shifts of momentum," Yeo said. "It's up to us to recognize when that is happening, when we're losing the momentum and how to get it back."

Yeo said after the game the team "got what we deserved" in the 4-3 loss, acknowledging a host of turnovers as the game went on.

By Wednesday afternoon he had done the tally. Though Yeo counted just 12 Blues scoring chances, more than half of those were the result of Wild miscues with the puck.

The season opener is nine days away, and to this point the Wild is still thinking about its next move on the ice during games, Yeo said. Eventually, that has to become reactionary if it wants to rack up some early victories.

"We need it to become habit for us," Yeo said. "When the pressure is on --when the game is on the line -- there is such little time to react."

Following back-to-back games beginning Thursday in Columbus to round out the exhibition schedule, the Wild will depart to Duluth as part of its final week of training camp. It will be part team-building, part system-building.

"It's nice to have that time," said newcomer Darroll Powe, who advanced to the playoffs with Philadelphia each of the past three seasons. "A lot of new faces this year, so building that team aspect will be a big part to being successful during the year. We're slowly getting it."

Fast enough?

"Yeah," he said. "It's going to have to be."

Veteran Nick Schultz, the Wild's career leader in games played (681), agreed.

"It comes down to the players buying in and working on it [to get] better at it," he said. "And that comes in practices. We have a good stretch here before the season starts and can kind of fine-tune."

Yeo said there is no magic formula.

"Part of a system is just a mentality," he said.


Some of the Wild's team-building was on display Wednesday.

Much to the delight of several dozen team staffers on hand for a post-practice on-ice photo, players wrapped up the day's skate with a lighthearted shootout competition. Dany Heatley emerged the winner, but not before Cal Clutterbuck showed his impersonation skills.

Acting out the climactic final scene of the Rob Lowe movie "Youngblood," Clutterbuck circled around the puck at center ice, kicked it from his back skate to his stick and scored.

"If you can get a little fun out of it ... you're getting something good out of it," Yeo said.

Injury updates

Matt Cullen, still banged up from a hit by Pittsburgh's Eric Tangradi, Jared Spurgeon (rib), Mike Lundin (back) and Cody Almond (back) all did not skate Wednesday.

Almond, no longer a contender to crack the lineup, appears to be the most seriously hurt.

"I don't know what the latest is, to be honest," Yeo said. "He's progressing slowly, let's put it that way. I'm disappointed for him, and I'm sure he's upset about it. He worked his rear end off this summer to come in and have a good camp. I was anxious to see what he could come in and do."

Defenseman Drew Bagnall (shoulder) has yet to be cleared to play but was sent to Houston to continue his rehab. Once cleared to play, he would have to clear waivers to remain there.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 2 Top 4th Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 42 3rd Qtr
Indiana 45
Sacramento 57 3rd Qtr
Orlando 68
Utah 41 3rd Qtr
Philadelphia 42
Miami 39 3rd Qtr
Washington 67
Toronto 49 3rd Qtr 9:29
Charlotte 57
Cleveland 30 2nd Qtr 8:46
Atlanta 42
Boston 12 1st Qtr 5:49
New Orleans 12
Detroit 12 1st Qtr 6:22
Houston 13
LA Lakers 8 1st Qtr 5:40
Memphis 12
Phoenix 13 1st Qtr 7:28
Brooklyn 6
Denver 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 2 2nd Prd 10:55
New Jersey 1
Minnesota 1 2nd Prd 9:33
Carolina 0
Buffalo 2 2nd Prd
Ottawa 0
Calgary 1 2nd Prd
Detroit 2
Edmonton 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 69 FINAL
Elon 74
Gardner-Webb 72 FINAL
High Point 71
Samford 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Northern Ill 26 2nd Half 17:38
Ball State 27
Bowling Green 42 2nd Half 15:25
Buffalo 42
Brown 43 2nd Half 15:54
Dartmouth 24
Toledo 35 2nd Half 12:56
Eastern Mich 49
Akron 48 2nd Half 12:11
Kent State 49
Ill-Chicago 40 2nd Half 13:47
Oakland 40
Miami-Ohio 39 2nd Half 12:39
Ohio 66
Columbia 17 2nd Half 15:22
Penn 29
Cornell 33 2nd Half 15:03
Princeton 41
Central Mich 26 2nd Half 17:26
Western Mich 41
Bradley 32 2nd Half 16:02
Northern Iowa 36
Morehead State 29 1st Half 1:38
Murray State 40
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Yale 7 1st Half 13:56
Harvard 5
Furman 7:30 PM
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Pacific 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola-Chicago 8:35 PM
Indiana State
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 43 FINAL
(7) Florida State 82
Memphis 71
Lehigh 75 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 34 2nd Half 12:56
Duquesne 38
North Florida 19 2nd Half 14:30
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 41
Kennesaw St 34 2nd Half 15:12
Jacksonville 35
USC Upstate 21 2nd Half 14:57
Northern Ky 25
Lipscomb 37 2nd Half 15:00
Stetson 59
Nebraska 38 2nd Half 13:56
(14) Iowa 53
Saint Peters 40 2nd Half 10:21
Marist 38
Navy 39 2nd Half 11:05
Bucknell 32
Lafayette 31 2nd Half 14:10
American Univ 52
Colgate 21 2nd Half 14:18
Army 23
Georgia 16 2nd Half 13:12
(5) Tennessee 43
Dartmouth 52 2nd Half 11:08
Brown 39
Penn 33 2nd Half 11:53
Columbia 22
(13) Princeton 62 2nd Half 7:59
Cornell 27
Kansas 28 2nd Half 12:42
Kansas State 35
Harvard 55 2nd Half 6:37
Yale 54
(15) North Carolina 7:00 PM
(10) Louisville
Houston 7:00 PM
San Jose St 18 1st Half 15:43
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Niagara 8:30 PM
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question