Wild notes: Youngsters, and those not so young, make playoff debuts

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 30, 2013 - 11:18 PM

Cal Clutterbuck, who scored the Wild's lone goal, was one of nine Minnesota players to make their playoff debuts against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

Minnesota Wild's Cal Clutterbuck celebrates his goal against the Chicago Blackhawks

Photo: Jim Prisching, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

– A year ago, Charlie Coyle was busy leading Saint John to a Quebec League championship a few months after playing for Boston University.

Tuesday night, the 21-year-old Wild right winger made his Stanley Cup playoff debut at the United Center.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Coyle said. “Everything comes so fast it seems like. Just last year I was in college and in juniors. This is where I always dreamed of playing, right here, playing for a Stanley Cup with this team.”

Coyle was one of nine Wild players to make their playoff debuts against the Chicago Blackhawks. The others were Kyle Brodziak, Tom Gilbert, Cal Clutterbuck, Clayton Stoner, Marco Scandella, Jared Spurgeon and rookies Jason Zucker and Jonas Brodin.

By comparison, backup goalie Henrik Karlsson was the only Blackhawk to dress for his first playoff game. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville coached his 140th playoff game. Wild coach Mike Yeo? His first, although he won a Stanley Cup as a Pittsburgh Penguins assistant.

Brodin, 19, has played big games before. He won a Swedish Elite League title with Farjestad and was a mainstay for Sweden when it won gold at the world junior championships in 2012.

“This is another step up,” Brodin said.

Brodin, a contender for the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year), has played large minutes alongside Ryan Suter on the Wild’s top pair all season long, and that won’t change this postseason.

Just how many minutes Brodin and Suter play will depend, but part of the reason the Wild recalled Scandella (Spurgeon’s defense partner when the Houston Aeros went to the Calder Cup Finals in 2011) was to eat minutes to ease the load on Brodin and Suter, Yeo said.

“Nice player,” Quenneville said of Brodin. “Got to commend him on establishing himself right off the bat, playing meaningful minutes against top players. He’s got a real good feel for the game.”

Zucker also was excited to play Tuesday. After a sub-par call-up late in the season, he was recalled for the regular-season finale and looked good against Colorado.

“It’s been a learning curve for me,” Zucker said. “I’m trying to figure stuff out and trying to figure out the whole pro game. Obviously I haven’t figured it out completely, but I’m trying to work on that and a lot of guys in here are helping me.”

Pominville out

The Wild expected Jason Pominville to return for Game 1 after missing the past two games because of a head injury, but he didn’t feel right when he woke up Tuesday and missed the game.

“Just not quite ready,” Yeo said. “This is a big game, but you’ve got to look at the big picture, and we have to make sure that when we get him back in, we get him back in for good.”

With Pominville out, Clutterbuck played on the third line with Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Zenon Konopka, slated to be scratched, centered Mike Rupp and Torrey Mitchell.

Bruno the scout

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 86 FINAL
LA Clippers 100
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
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: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close