Wild's Yeo sticking with a good thing

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 30, 2011 - 6:32 AM

The coach made several changes before Monday's victory over Tampa Bay, and he sees no reason to change.

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David McIntyre helped spark the fourth line in his debut.

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

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Mike Yeo doesn't plan on any changes to the Wild lineup for Wednesday's game in Edmonton. That means a couple of youngsters and veterans played well Monday against Tampa Bay.

In the short term, the Wild coach sounded more concerned about the vets.

Defenseman Mike Lundin played in his first NHL game since last season, returning after a back injury that hit early in training camp. Greg Zanon also returned to the defense after missing 16 games because of a groin injury.

Lundin, who was paired with Nick Schultz, played 19 minutes and 35 seconds and finished with five blocked shots. Zanon, paired with Clayton Stoner, logged 14:41 of ice time, getting a hit and five blocks. He was a plus-1.

Of the two, Lundin's steady performance might have been the most surprising, considering how long it had been since he last played in a game that mattered.

"It felt great," Lundin said of his first game in a Wild sweater in his home state. "I was a little jittery, a little not quite right, I think, in the first period. But, as the game went on, I felt a lot more comfortable out there."

Zanon's play also was steady; Yeo noted that the consistent shot-blocker got in front of one very early.

"What I liked, too, is that he is a guy who is emotionally engaged in the game. We have a group that cares an awful lot. But we do have a lot of quiet, silent leaders. He brings life and energy."

Yeo is interested to see how the pair does in Edmonton. He said following a long layoff a player often will come out strong in his return, followed by a dip in play.

"Marco [Scandella] is a good example of that," Yeo said. "He was out for a little while, and he came back and his first game was very good. His second game? Not quite as good. Sometimes the adrenaline really kicks in for the first game. It's something I'll talk to the guys about.''

Young forwards Casey Wellman and David McIntyre played a little more than nine minutes on the fourth line. Yeo said both made good use of their speed to set the tempo.

In the press box

Winger Colton Gillies was a healthy scratch against Tampa Bay and should be again Wednesday.

"He will always take it hard," Yeo said. "We're talking about a guy whose care level is extremely high. He takes a lot of pride in his game.

"In the big scheme of things, it will be an OK thing for him."

Gillies, one of a handful of players out for an optional skate Wednesday, reluctantly agreed.

"Maybe it's good to take a step back sometimes," he said. "I trust Yeo and his decisions. Obviously it's not something that I want to have happened."

In this corner ...

Wednesday's game will be a quick rematch from Friday's Wild loss, one in which Edmonton forward Darcy Hordichuk goaded Wild winger Brad Staubitz into eight minutes of penalties.

Will that bad blood carry over? Staubitz, for one, wasn't biting.

"It's all a part of the game," he said. "I took some dumb penalties. But this is a whole new game."

Etc.

• The Wild promoted goalie Darcy Kuemper from Ontario of the ECHL to the team's AHL affiliate in Houston. The team also loaned goalie Dennis Endras to HIFK Finland.

• Defenseman Justin Falk did not make the trip to Edmonton because of chest spasms.

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