Setoguchi misses meeting, benched for Sharks game

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 11, 2012 - 4:32 PM

Former San Jose Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi was a healthy scratch against his former team Tuesday night, but it wasn't because of poor play. According to multiple sources, Setoguchi missed a Tuesday morning meeting, triggering Wild coach Mike Yeo to bench him.

Former San Jose Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi was a healthy scratch against his former team Tuesday night, but it wasn't because of poor play.

Coach Mike Yeo called it a violation of a team rule. According to multiple sources, Setoguchi missed a Tuesday morning meeting.

"It's not an easy decision, especially how valuable he is to our team," Yeo said after the Wild's 5-4 shootout victory. "The thing is we all have to be held accountable, but he's still a guy that cares very much and he's still a good person and still a very big part of our team.

"So come [Wednesday], clean slate."

It was a gutsy move.

The Wild is struggling to score. Setoguchi, in two games back after a knee injury, had nine shots and an assist. And the Wild was already without concussed second-liners Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse.

"We're just trying to build a culture here where our standards are higher than everybody else's," Yeo said.

Before the game, General Manager Chuck Fletcher said he "fully supported" Yeo's decision.

Outside looking in

Mike Lundin arrives at the rink every day, amazingly, with a smile on his face. He has been a good professional, his character continuing to shine.

But it's getting harder and harder to "hang in there," like he has repeatedly been told by coaches.

The Wild defenseman was scratched for the eighth time in nine games Tuesday.

"It tests ya definitely," said the 27-year-old Lundin, a veteran of 236 NHL games. "But it's my job and I have to be ready to go if I get another chance. It's one of the hardest things to do, definitely, to be positive. But I'm not going to get here and stick around if I have a bad attitude and feel sorry for myself.

"I just have to stick with it, work hard and try to enjoy it."

The toughest thing for Lundin is he's not quite sure why his play has landed him a permanent seat in the press box. Yeo has said the Apple Valley native has been the victim of a numbers game, but even Marco Scandella and Nate Prosser being sent to Houston hasn't allowed Lundin to return.

"I know I wasn't playing at my best," Lundin said. "It's hard. I've been watching a lot of video trying to figure it out. I thought I was playing solid for the most part, but there's just a few things."

Etc.

• Josh Harding started against the Sharks as Niklas Backstrom struggles to find his game. In his past six starts, he is 1-5 with an .890 save percentage and 3.54 goals-against average.

"I've been talking to [goalie coach Bob Mason] a lot," Backstrom said. "It stinks to let in three or four goals every night. I feel good and suddenly you look after game and you let in three goals. Mase says everything in my game looks the same. I don't know. It's hockey."

• Defenseman Justin Falk returned after being scratched in Calgary. Winger David McIntyre played his third game of the season.

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