With flourish, Setoguchi emerges from doghouse

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 9, 2013 - 11:50 PM
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Minnesota Wild right wing Devin Setoguchi.

Photo: Carlos Osorio, Associated Press

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Mike Yeo's doghouse has had a lot of visitors lately, but Devin Setoguchi knew exactly how to get out of it.

Instead of copping an attitude for being put on the fourth line Monday in Phoenix, Setoguchi worked his way out of it the past two games and got rewarded with a second-line role Saturday night against the Nashville Predators.

It paid off for the Wild. He got onto the ice during an overtime power play and scored the winner.

"A lot of props to Mike for giving me a chance in overtime," Setoguchi said.

Setoguchi entered Saturday with no goals in 10 games. But he was coming off a game in which he had two shots and three golden scoring chances against Vancouver.

"The one in the second period, Cory Schneider made an amazing save," Setoguchi said. "I got all of it, one-timer, low blocker, over the pad. I mean, nine times out of 10, I'm pretty sure that goes in."

But Setoguchi, 26, knew he could build off of it. He knows his job is to score goals. He scored 31 for San Jose in 2008-09.

"The coach shouldn't have to send a message," Setoguchi said. "You should know it yourself. I know I've got better in me. When you're not playing the right way or get sent down [in lines], you know you deserve it."

Not scoring took its toll on Setoguchi. Losing made it worse, he said.

"But the more it weighs on you, the more you think about it, the worse it's going to get," he said. "So the last couple games I've tried to clear my head and keep it simple."

Setoguchi's struggles have also landed him in the center of trade rumors.

"Obviously if things aren't going well, anyone in here ... no one's safe unless you've got a no-trade or no-move clause," he said. "I don't think about it. My focus is to get on the board and trying to win."

With 23 players on the roster, Yeo has to scratch three players a night. So if a player isn't performing, he is inviting Yeo to drop him to a lower line or keep him in street clothes.

Monday, Mikael Granlund was on the fourth line. Thursday, he was scratched. He also responded well and played on the second line Saturday with Dany Heatley and Setoguchi.

The latest made an example was playmaker Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who paid for not making enough plays with a fourth-line demotion against the Predators.

"I don't want him on our fourth line. Play dictates it," Yeo said of Bouchard, who has one goal, one assist and 10 shots in the past 10 games despite a spot on the No. 1 power-play unit.

Etc.

• Former Wild goalie Dwayne Roloson watched the Wild practice at St. Thomas Academy on Friday because he had reserved the ice right after. Roloson, who lives in Stillwater, skates three times a week with free agent Andrew Brunette and former NHLers Mark Parrish, Erik Rasmussen and others with the hope of still landing an NHL job this season.

Roloson, 43, who played the past two years with Tampa Bay, has talked with some teams.

"I still got the fire to play and want to play," Roloson said.

• Speaking of Parrish, his wife, Nicholle, sister, Jillian, and the rest of the Turnbergs will be on "Family Feud" at 6 p.m. Tuesday on the CW Network.

• Defenseman Nate Prosser, scratched in six consecutive games, returned Saturday and Marco Scandella was scratched. Defenseman Jared Spurgeon (foot) missed his eighth game but is back skating daily.

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