Heatley, Setoguchi change sides

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 21, 2011 - 12:38 AM

After an entire preseason and six games of Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi playing on their off wings, the left-shot Heatley moved to his natural left-wing position and the right-shot Setoguchi to his natural right-wing position Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

hide

The Wild's Dany Heatley (15) congratulated goalie Niklas Backstrom following Minnesota's 2-1 overtime shootout victory over Edmonton on Thursday,

Photo: John Ulan, Canadian Press/AP

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - It may seem like a small tweak, but Wild coach Mike Yeo hopes it will pay big dividends.

After an entire preseason and six games of Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi playing on their off wings, the left-shot Heatley moved to his natural left-wing position and the right-shot Setoguchi to his natural right-wing position Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

Setoguchi had spent his entire pro career playing right wing. But since coming to Minnesota from San Jose, he moved to the left side in order to accommodate Heatley, who likes playing the off wing and had done so previously in Atlanta and San Jose.

But with the line struggling to generate offense and speed coming through the neutral zone, Yeo made the switch in hopes of jump-starting the top line.

"I've never really played the left side before, so we were trying it out," Setoguchi said. "Heater wanted to play right, so I figured I could play left. It's nice at times and sometimes it's not, like catching a pass. I'm used to playing the right side and he knows how to play the left, so we'll see how this works out."

Yeo also moved Heatley and Setoguchi back to their strong sides because he noticed a tendency of both players skating east-west instead of north with the puck.

"The tendency is to pull it back to the forehand and then look towards the middle of the ice a lot," said Yeo, who noted that Setoguchi's two goals through six games came from the right side of the ice.

Setoguchi was dropped to the second line Tuesday against Pittsburgh when Yeo looked for a spark from the team. But Yeo said Setoguchi must get out of the habit of trying to force pucks to Heatley and deferring to both Heatley and linemate Mikko Koivu.

Yeo wants the 24-year-old Setoguchi to "open the door and say, 'Guys, here I am,'" Yeo said. "You're playing with two great players, and the mentality is to maybe let those guys do all the work and make the play and then kind of be there when they need you.

"I'd like to see him assert himself and say, 'I'm a huge part of this line.'"

This is a big adjustment year for Setoguchi, who was always fighting for ice time in San Jose. Setoguchi averaged between 15 and 16 minutes a night his first three years in the NHL -- 15 minutes, 12 seconds a game last year. Through six games, he's averaged 19:17 a game with the Wild.

Yeo said Setoguchi has been too stationary as he waits for Heatley and Koivu to make plays. He wants him to be tenacious on the puck and use his speed to drive wide on defenders.

"If he's playing really well, you should see a lot of movement in his game," Yeo said.

No lineup changes

Despite threatening to tinker with the lineup Thursday after a disappointing loss to the Penguins, Yeo came back with the same 18 skaters and goaltender (Niklas Backstrom) against the Oilers.

"I do like giving guys a chance to respond," Yeo said. "It's tough. We have guys that we want to get into the lineup right now [Nick Johnson, Matt Kassian, Justin Falk], and we have guys that we want to continue to give games to and build some consistency with the group we have.

"We're trying to juggle those decisions every day."

Etc.

• With Wild farmhand Drew Bagnall fully rehabbed from offseason shoulder surgery, the defenseman cleared waivers Thursday and will make his season debut for the Houston Aeros on Friday in Charlotte.

• Wild prospect Carson McMillan has been suspended four games by the American Hockey League for an illegal check to a San Antonio opponent's head.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 5 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: D. O`Day 3
Milwaukee - LP: J. Broxton 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Holdzkom 4
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Washington - WP: D. Fister 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Cleveland - LP: K. Crockett 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: J. Burton 5
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 10 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 5
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 15
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Lackey 2
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 3
Texas - WP: L. Bonilla 12 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 3
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: O. Despaigne 5
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 5
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close