Wild's Setoguchi sifts through the wreckage

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 21, 2012 - 11:03 AM

Devin Setoguchi hasn't had the type of season that he or the Wild envisioned. An odd offseason accident might have been prophetic.

hide

Devin Setoguchi has endured an inconsistent season in which he has scored 18 goals.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

A concrete flowerpot saved Devin Setoguchi.

Maybe the whole bizarre incident last July was a strange omen for his first season with the Wild, a team that has plummeted down the NHL standings.

Setoguchi walked into his chiropractor's office in San Jose, Calif., three weeks after being traded to Minnesota. Outside, an elderly woman lost control of her car as she tried to park in a handicapped space. Paralyzed from the waist down, the woman was using hand controls to drive.

"She hit the wrong trigger, and hit 'go' instead of 'stop,'" Setoguchi said, shaking his head. "She drove right through the door. But first, she hit a cement flowerpot."

Standing in front of that door, Setoguchi heard the flowerpot get obliterated. He turned and caught a glimpse of a car heading his way.

He couldn't go left because of the office's counter, so he turned right just as the car smashed through the window and sprayed glass and dirt from the flowerpot everywhere.

"I ran and jumped, and as I jumped, the front of the car hit me in the back and I got shot 10 feet down the hallway," Setoguchi said.

Setoguchi slowly picked himself up off the hardwood floor. In pain and bleeding, Setoguchi drove himself to the emergency room. He still has scars from cuts all over his back. He needed stitches to close cuts to his hand.

But Setoguchi was lucky. If not for the car striking that flowerpot first, Setoguchi would have been "ran over without even knowing the car was there. It was crazy. ... Yeah, she's not allowed to drive anymore."

The injuries Setoguchi sustained in the accident halted his offseason training.

"Pretty much my entire July was ruined," Setoguchi said. "My hand was messed up for a while there. My back was banged up. A good, solid three weeks, I could do nothing, so I had a shorter summer than a lot of people."

Setoguchi said, chuckling, "It takes awhile to get the bruises to heal after you get hit by a car."

A tough start

The accident was the start of a difficult first year for Setoguchi in Minnesota. He had high hopes for this season, saying only days before the accident that he was at a "crossroads" in his career.

Only 24 at the time, Setoguchi already had four NHL seasons under his belt. He had scored 31 goals his first full season, but after 20- and 22-goal seasons, Setoguchi said it was time to "turn into that man you've got to be in order to play in this league."

He wanted to rid his game of the streakiness, but with the Wild 10 games from a fourth consecutive postseason absence, Setoguchi is disappointed by his performance. In 59 games, he is the Wild's third-leading scorer with 18 goals and fifth-leading scorer with 31 points.

"It's been a frustrating year so far -- a lot of highs and a lot of lows, which is what basically is considered inconsistent," Setoguchi said. "So on a personal level, it's always tough when you're struggling, especially when the problem is we're having trouble putting pucks in the net."

Setoguchi has scored some big goals, such as an overtime winner in Detroit and last-second goals in the third period. But there have been stretches in the season in which he has struggled to find his game, like a two-goal run in 15 games before and after a knee injury from Dec. 2 to Feb. 9.

The other side

Defensively is one area where he feels he could have been better.

"Goals are goals. Wins are the biggest thing," he said. "There were a lot of games that we lost where I probably could have had a couple more goals, probably could have made a couple more plays to keep goals out of our net.

"Looking at the numbers, we weren't a team that was going to score a lot of goals, but we should have kept them out. That's the big thing. Personally, I'm [minus-15] now. I've been pretty much a plus player my whole career."

Coach Mike Yeo said Setoguchi must get out of the habit of thinking every night he has to score two goals.

"He's not preparing the right way with the thoughts he puts in his head," Yeo said. "I think it's a maturing and learning process with him. When he's struggling to score, he takes shortcuts to pucks and cheats and overanticipates.

"When you do that, you end up behind the play so many times. The thing with him is once he quits thinking about scoring and actually learns how to play the game consistently ... the more goals that'll come for him."

An early offseason

Setoguchi's accident last summer was kept under wraps by the Wild until now. Setoguchi hasn't used it as an excuse, but because he was behind on his training, Yeo doesn't think Setoguchi came into camp feeling ready.

"And when you don't feel good, it's tough to get it back," Yeo said.

Setoguchi never missed the playoffs with the Sharks. In the past two years, he played into late May, so this offseason -- barring another car striking him inside a chiropractor's office -- Setoguchi will have plenty of time to prepare for next season.

"I hate to look ahead to this summer, but I've been to June now two years in a row and started working out by July," he said. "Now you get May, June, July and August -- an extra two months of training as opposed to playing those three rounds in the playoffs.

''It takes a tear on your body after a while. This is a big summer to get into shape and get where I want to be as far as conditioning level and strength and coming back with a positive attitude.

"We want to win here so bad."

  • WILD VS. CALGARY • 7 p.m. Thursday • Xcel Energy Center • TV: FSN (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Carolina 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
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