Wild players hope for turnaround victory

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 7, 2013 - 12:13 AM

After losing four of its past five, Minnesota looks to ‘reset’ its season.

hide

Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom looked back at a goal shot by St. Louis' Kevin Shattenkirk

Photo: Star Tribune, Renee Jones Schneider

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

– With the Western Conference standings starting to squeeze more tightly around the slumping Wild, players believe a victory Sunday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets could lower the anxiety temperature a couple of degrees.

“We’ve just got to reset,” said Ryan Suter, the No. 1 defenseman on a team that has gone from winning seven games in a row to losing four of its past five. “Throughout the year, you go through things like this.

“What we’ve got to remember we’re in a good place right now. It’s good to have your destiny in your hands. And that’s how we feel. If we come out and play the way we’re capable of playing, the way we’ve seen we can play in the past, we’ll be just fine.”

Standing in Minnesota’s way will be a couple of familiar faces.

Marian Gaborik will make his home debut in a Blue Jackets sweater against the team he grew up with and still leads in virtually every offensive category. Todd Richards, who preceded Mike Yeo as Wild coach, has led a remarkable Blue Jackets turnaround since Scott Howson was fired as general manager.

The Blue Jackets, three points out of a playoff spot, have lost three times in regulation in the past 19 games and are 9-0-3 at home since Feb. 10. They are a hardworking, fast team, so the Wild, four points ahead of ninth place, knows it will have to match Columbus’ desperation.

“We just have to get back to focusing on the little things,” Yeo said. “Right now we’re making big mistakes. It’s a turnover, it’s a line change, it’s one thing after another.”

That was exemplified in Thursday’s loss at Los Angeles where all three goals came after offensive-zone turnovers. The last two goals were compounded by poor line changes.

The good news is on Saturday at Nationwide Arena, the Wild actually threw on its practice sweaters and took the ice for its first full practice in 14 days.

“It’s weird,” Yeo said. “Seriously, I’m having a tough time remembering the last time we had a practice, let alone a real practice, where we actually got to work on a couple parts of our game.”

After playing eight games in 13 nights incorporating tough travel, Yeo expects that the two non-game days between Thursday and Sunday should help refocus the mind and recoup the team’s tired legs.

“We should be back to full energy and that should no longer be an excuse for us,” he said.

The Wild will have to overcome another game without veterans Matt Cullen and Dany Heatley. The hope originally was that Cullen, who is so important to the Wild’s success, could meet the team in Columbus, but that was wishful thinking. He has missed the three-game road trip because of a lower-body injury.

Heatley wound up traveling with the team to Columbus for treatment, but he will miss his second game because of an upper-body injury that could keep him out for awhile.

Regardless, Zach Parise says the Wild can’t make excuses such as fatigue and injuries. It just needs to correct some glaring mistakes lately.

“It’s not from a lack of effort,” Parise said. “The effort’s been there. We’ve been making mental errors that we weren’t making before. We’re doing things that are costing us, and that’s a good thing. They’re correctable mistakes and we talked about the things we need to tighten up.”

The Wild is ready to look at these final 11 games as a postseason tuneup.

  • related content

  • Gameday: Wild at Columbus

    Sunday April 7, 2013

    wild gameday5 P.M. at Columbus • FSN, 100.3-FMPreview: After back-to-back losses in San Jose and Los Angeles, the Wild, which...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - R. Hernandez 12:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:05 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Philadelphia - J. Williams 3:05 PM
Oakland - D. Pomeranz
Toronto - M. Stroman 3:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Capuano
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
Colorado - E. Butler
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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