Setoguchi's catching fire for Wild

The veteran forward, along with Charlie Coyle, is making the Brent Burns trade look pretty good.

hide

The Wild’s Devin Setoguchi has 11 goals and 18 points in his past 19 games and he’ll face his former teammates when the San Jose Sharks come to town Saturday.

Photo: File by JEFF WHEELER; jeff.wheeler@startribune.com ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

kyoungblood@startribune.com

Devin Setoguchi is keeping track, but not keeping score.

There is a difference, of course. Setoguchi and the Wild, both on a roll, play host to the San Jose Sharks in a Saturday matinee. For Setoguchi — among others in both dressing rooms — it is a chance to play against the team that traded them. And that means heightened emotion, but nothing else.

Setoguchi keeps track of the Sharks, just like he does every other team in the ultracompetitive Western Conference. But neither he nor anybody else is about to declare a post-trade victory.

“Both teams traded for what they needed,” Setoguchi said. “So everything has worked out.”

The cross-pollination of these two franchises is fairly intense, though. The day before the 2011 draft the Wild sent defenseman Brent Burns — coming off a career-high 46-point season — to San Jose in exchange for Setoguchi, the rights to Charlie Coyle and a first-round pick in the 2011 draft that turned out to be Zach Phillips. Also that summer, the Wild sent Martin Havlat to the Sharks for Dany Heatley and center James Sheppard to the Sharks for a third-round pick in this summer’s draft. Last summer, the Wild signed former Sharks forward Torrey Mitchell.

Sometimes it pays to wait awhile before assessing a trade.

After totaling just two assists in his first 10 games, then having to listen to the trade rumors that accompany such a start, Setoguchi — placed on a line with center Matt Cullen — has 11 goals and 18 points in his past 19 games for a Wild team that has ascended to the top of the Northwest Division and a No. 3 spot in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Coyle, in his rookie season, has added a physical presence to the Wild’s top line, and Heatley has eight goals and 17 points.

The Sharks? Burns has battled injuries that have limited him to 11 games. Shortly after his most recent return, he was moved from defense to the wing, skating most recently on a line with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Burns has responded well, with two goals and six points in his past five games.

Havlat has eight points in 22 games, and Sheppard has three assists in 21 games. The Sharks, 4-4-2 in their past 10 games, were eighth in the Western Conference entering Friday’s games. But in a very tight and competitive conference, nobody is worrying about drafts made one or two years ago, or who might have gotten the upper hand in those trades.

“That’s not our job,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan told the San Jose Mercury News. “Our job is to welcome the new players into the organization and get the most we can out of them. … When it’s all said and done, we’re happy with the people we have here and we don’t sit back and keep score of who won what.’’

Burns certainly doesn’t.

“Not really,” he told the Mercury News. “You keep track of the team. You’re friends with those guys.’’

For Setoguchi, success on the ice has been matched with a quiet demeanor off it. Ask him about his recent success, and he talks about Cullen and both Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Jason Zucker, the two wings who have filled out that line.

Wild coach Mike Yeo credited Setoguchi’s physical play for his success. But the sharpshooting winger said confidence has been the key.

“I think 98 percent of the game is mental,” he said. “In between the ears is the biggest thing. Playing the right way, believing in yourself, having confidence with the puck, that’s the most important thing.”

  • related content

  • Gameday preview: Wild vs. San Jose

    Saturday March 23, 2013

    Wild gameday1 P.M. VS. SAN JOSE • FSN, 100.3-FMPreview: The Wild, fresh off a 3-0 road trip, has won four...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
UNLV 67 FINAL
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
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: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close