Compressed NHL schedule produces playoff feel every night

  • Article by: CHRIS MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 28, 2013 - 12:48 AM

The last month of a condensed schedule promises to be frantic.

 

The NHL season, truncated to 48 games because of the four-month lockout, had a sense of urgency from its start in January. But the last month of a condensed schedule promises to be frantic.

“It almost has a playoff feel,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “There’s very little practice time. You just have to make sure you get rest, and find a way to get refocused. Push the last one aside, win or lose, and get ready for what you need to do to get ready for the next one.”

The Wild extended their winning streak to seven games with a 4-3 overtime victory over Phoenix on Wednesday. That left Minnesota in first place in the Northwest Division, with the third-most points in the Western Conference.

During its streak, which came in four different time zones, the Wild ended long stretches of futility in Vancouver, Detroit and Dallas. Wednesday started a stretch of six games in nine days.

“The one thing that has really helped us is having as many games as we have in a short period of time,” Yeo said. “We haven’t had the opportunity to feel real good about ourselves. It’s kind of get back on the horse and get to the next one.”

The Wild has outscored teams 31-17 in the seven-game streak.

“We’re feeling better about just the way we’re playing the game,” winger Cal Clutterbuck said before the game. “We were never worried about whether we were going to have our work ethic, but the exciting part is seeing what the product is out on the ice.”

State of hockey

Matt Cullen scored his 200th career goal in the Wild’s 7-4 victory at Dallas on Monday and added a goal Wednesday. The 36-year-old center became the ninth Minnesota-born player to reach 200 goals. The others are David Christian (340), Phil Housley (338), Neal Broten (289), Jamie Langenbrunner (243), Reed Larson (222), Mark Parrish (216), Jason Blake (213) and Cullen’s teammate Zach Parise (208).

“I’ve watched him for a few years — on TV,” said Wild winger Charlie Coyle, who just turned 21. “And it’s obviously much better playing on the same team with him. He’s still got the great speed, he stays right with it. He takes care of his body and does all the little things right. To score 200 goals, that’s a great accomplishment.”

Can’t walk, can skate

The Wild got a scare Monday when Clutterbuck slammed into a goalpost against Dallas, injuring his right leg in the first period. But Clutterbuck returned for the third period, assisting on a pair of goals, including Kyle Brodziak’s short-handed game-winner.

“I went in pretty hard, felt a little twisting and torqueing, so I was unsure about it,” Clutterbuck said. “I really didn’t expect to be able to go back, but it was kind of weird. I was having a lot of difficulty walking, so I just decided to throw my skate on and see how that would go, and it turned out it was a lot less painful skating than it was walking.”

Etc.

• The Wild’s Ryan Suter is second among NHL defensemen in scoring with 27 points, on threegoals and 24 assists. He scored late in regulation Wednesday, leaving him a point behind Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, who went on injured reserve because of a broken toe.

• Phoenix goalie Mike Smith, one of the NHL’s best last season when had a 2.21 goals-against average and .930 save percentage, was placed on injured reserve by the Coyotes, retroactive to Friday. Smith, who has a 2.83 GAA and .901 save percentage this season, suffered an upper-body injury, likely whiplash, when he was run over by Vancouver’s Alexander Edler on Thursday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75
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