Unhappy Yeo sends players a message

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 13, 2012 - 12:37 AM
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Wild coach Mike Yeo

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

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After a 4-3 loss to Calgary on Sunday it was back to basics for the Wild on Monday. There were passing drills, battle drills, wall play and puck support drills -- some fundamentals one wouldn't expect to see in March of a hockey season.

"We did 2-on-1's for 10 minutes there and the idea is if we're going to continue to give up 2-on-1's the way we do right now, we might as well be good at defending them," an unhappy coach Mike Yeo said.

It was a quiet practice.

"I think everybody's a little bit grumpy," Yeo said. "I would have been a little concerned if there was a lot of rah-rah and happy guys out there. But the response isn't in practice. The response is [Tuesday against the Dallas Stars]."

Yeo said the Wild will continue to try to improve.

"We're not just going to ride out this season, that's for sure," Yeo said.

Doubtful returns

Pierre-Marc Bouchard, out because of a concussion since Jan. 7, has skated in a tracksuit and is starting to feel better, but he doubts he'll play again this season.

"I would need to be feeling good 100 percent soon, then see how it feels when I exercise and I'd have to get back into shape," Bouchard said. "It would be tough right now."

Yeo also said it's looking grim that winger Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) and defenseman Mike Lundin (hernia) will return.

However, goalie Niklas Backstrom, out because of a groin injury since March 2, went on the ice Monday and "is coming along quickly," Yeo said. "He's a gamer. He wants to play, and I like that."

Etc.

• Goalie Josh Harding said he suffered the lower body injury that caused him to leave Thursday's game at Phoenix during warmups.

"It gradually got worse," said Harding, who stopped all 24 shots he faced. "We were joking that the most frustrating thing is that it happened when I was playing well. It couldn't have happened when I was getting lit up [by Detroit]?"

• Cal Clutterbuck, who missed the past three games, practiced Monday and still doesn't think he was concussed. However, the team is playing it cautious and he's questionable against the Stars.

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