Wild's second and third lines feel burden

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 18, 2012 - 12:06 AM

"We have to support them," Warren Peters said. "The opportunities are there."

hide

Mikko Koivu, shown taking on Winnipeg’s Chris Mason during a shootout Thursday, leads a line that produced all seven of the team’s goals during the recent four-game homestand. That’s not the sort of balance the team craves.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

It was a rather small gathering at St. Thomas Academy on Friday.

The Wild held a practice there, but it was optional. And only nine skaters and the two goaltenders hit the ice hours before the team hopped a plane for St. Louis.

Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi weren't there. But then, given that line's recent goal-scoring stretch, it was others who needed the work. The Wild just completed a winless four-game homestand in which the team scored only seven goals. All seven came from members of the top line.

Saturday's game in St. Louis is the start of a stretch in which the Wild will play three of four games on the road, where the team has struggled mightily to score. It's clear the team's other lines have to start contributing.

"It's pretty obvious," Warren Peters said. "We have to support them. The opportunities are there. There have been scoring chances. We can't concentrate on whether they're going in or not right now. If you do, then you start squeezing the stick, or cheating."

The Wild has scored only 17 goals in its past 15 road games, and normally productive players such as Matt Cullen (no goals in 14 games) and Kyle Brodziak (no goals in five) have struggled.

Waiting game

One of the nine players at the optional practice Friday was defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who was scratched by Wild coach Mike Yeo on Thursday against Winnipeg. That came a day after Zidlicky's agent, Larry Kelly, said his client would waive his no-trade clause to go to New Jersey.

"It is what it is, the situation around me," Zidlicky said. "I don't want to say anything more."

Asked if he had, indeed, said he would waive the no-trade clause for the right trade, Zidlicky said: "Probably. That's the way I feel right now. So we'll see what happens. First, my priority was to stay here."

Ortmeyer back

The Wild recalled forward Jed Ortmeyer from Houston and sent Cody Almond back to the Aeros.

Ortmeyer has appeared in 10 games for the Wild this season, averaging 9:06 of ice time. He has one assist.

  • related content

  • Wild-St. Louis preview

    Saturday February 18, 2012

    Preview: The Wild, having gone winless in four consecutive home games, heads to St. Louis to play a Blues team that has won five of its past six games and...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Miami - LP: M. Dunn 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 3
Arizona - WP: T. Cahill 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 5
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bettis 10
Texas - WP: M. Perez 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 0
Houston - LP: J. Fields 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: F. Rodney 5
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton 2
LA Angels - LP: E. Frieri 4 FINAL
Washington - WP: D. Storen 5
Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera 3 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 5
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 10 FINAL
Toronto - LP: T. Redmond 8
Chicago WSox - WP: A. Rienzo 6 FINAL
Detroit - LP: E. Reed 4
St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 3
Minnesota - WP: C. Fien 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke 4
NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 1 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Lackey 5
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5
Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke 5
Charlotte 97 FINAL
Miami 101
Dallas 113 FINAL
San Antonio 92
Portland 112 FINAL
Houston 105
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Dallas 4
St. Louis 3 FINAL(OT)
Chicago 4
Houston 0 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
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: Should Wild's Matt Cooke be suspended for his Game 3 kneeing hit?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close