Wild coach Mike Yeo: 'We're going to be more aggressive'

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 8, 2013 - 8:15 AM
hide

Wild head Coach Mike Yeo

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

The Wild snapped a four-year playoff drought last spring when it pulled out a must-win game at Colorado to grab the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Minnesota looks to build on that this season, albeit with a very different looking team. Following an offseason that was a far cry from 2012 when the Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to 13-year deals, general manager Chuck Fletcher had to work to get cap compliant.

That led to the subtraction of four key forwards — Matt Cullen, Devin Setoguchi, Cal Clutterbuck and Pierre-Marc Bouchard — and defenseman Tom Gilbert. The Wild signed veteran forward Matt Cooke and former Gophers defenseman Keith Ballard.

The Wild will be relying on the continued growth of youngsters Charlie Coyle, Jason Zucker and Jonas Brodin and a solid base of veterans — Parise, Suter, captain Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley, Jason Pominville and goaltender Niklas Backstrom.

On Wednesday, the Wild begins a three-week training camp, which includes six exhibition games and a two-day getaway to Duluth, before opening the season Oct. 3 against the Los Angeles Kings.

As Mike Yeo heads into his third season, the Wild coach sat down with the Star Tribune for a Q and A:

Q: Will there be any system tweaks this season?

Yeo: Our fans will really enjoy this. We’re going to be more aggressive off the rush. We want to be more of a puck possession team, so it’s as simple as asking, ‘Who gets the puck after you have it?’ We’re going to have to execute better on the wall coming out of the defensive zone, execute better on our entries, but at the same time, with that, you’ve also got to make sure that you’re not just turning into a high-risk team and turning pucks over. So if you turn a puck over at the offensive blue line and they go down and score, then that’s not helping us. That’s not making us a better team. But we want to keep the puck. We don’t want to just give it up.

Q: That sounds like you’re saying you’ll be less “dump and chase?”

Yeo: I hate that people think that we’re a dump-and-chase team. It’s completely false. I count it as a turnover. If we dump the puck in and the goalie touches the puck, that’s a turnover for me. If it’s a pass into space where we can get the puck, then that’s a good play. It’s a bad play if we put the puck into a place where the other team gets it and we’re backchecking. But there’s going to be a focus for us to try to create more offensively off the rush. So our entries, we have to find ways to attack the zone with more speed, make more plays with support on our entries so we’re carrying the puck inside the blue line with the puck still on our stick. It’ll give us a chance to score more goals, but we’re going to have to be patient early in the year. It’s going to lead to mistakes and mistakes lead to scoring chances and goals.

Q: What’s your biggest question mark going into camp?

Yeo: Who’s on our team? (laughs) Who plays with who? Honestly, I’ve got about 1,000 different combinations right now. Every day I go in the office, my board changes about three times. Last year, with one week of camp, the purpose of our camp was to get guys together, to keep them together, to build chemistry. This time, it’s going to be very different. You’re going to see a lot of different guys playing with different people, guys playing in different positions, as well. Day 1 of camp is going to be one thing and Day 2 of camp is going to be something different — with some exceptions. Say, if Mikko, Zach and Pominville are a line Day 1 and have a really good day, then I’m probably not going to switch them up. But we have to figure out where we want guys and who’s clicking with who.

Q: Fair to say Coyle and Mikael Granlund are going head-to-head for the second-line center spot?

Yeo: I would say, yeah.

Q: What do you expect from Granlund after a disappointing rookie year?

A: He’s flying right under the radar this year, which is perfect. That’s fine. With young kids, with that kind of skill, you have to have some patience. Some of them find it right away, some of them, it takes them a little bit longer. And he’s got bigger adjustments to make than most because he’s been playing on the bigger ice surface, the type of game that he plays, the way that he’s been able to use the extra space, and with that extra time, it’s different here. We saw last year that it was an adjustment for him, it wasn’t exactly the easiest of situation for him to step into, but he’s a very talented kid. I’m hoping he comes in and is at his best right away, but if it’s not, I’m also at the point we have to give this kid a real good chance to see what he can get to.

Q: Fair to say Coyle and Zucker are on the team?

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota 16 FINAL
Buffalo 17
Atlanta 7 FINAL
Baltimore 29
Tennessee 17 FINAL
Washington 19
Seattle 26 FINAL
St. Louis 28
Cleveland 6 FINAL
Jacksonville 24
Cincinnati 0 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Miami 27 FINAL
Chicago 14
New Orleans 23 FINAL
Detroit 24
Carolina 17 FINAL
Green Bay 38
Kansas City 23 FINAL
San Diego 20
Arizona 24 FINAL
Oakland 13
NY Giants 21 FINAL
Dallas 31
San Francisco 17 FINAL
Denver 42
Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Boston 95 FINAL
Brooklyn 90
Minnesota 112 FINAL
Oklahoma City 94
Golden State 83 FINAL
Houston 90
Charlotte 96 FINAL
Chicago 101
Utah 91 FINAL
LA Lakers 98
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
San Jose 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Calgary 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
St. Louis 0 FINAL
Anaheim 3
TX-San Antonio 20 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 27
Syracuse 30 FINAL
Wake Forest 7
Purdue 38 FINAL
Minnesota 39
Western Ky 38 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 45
(12) Baylor 27 FINAL
(22) West Virginia 41
(11) Kansas State 31 FINAL
(17) Oklahoma 30
Iowa 31 FINAL
Maryland 38
So Florida 38 FINAL
Tulsa 30
Tulane 13 FINAL
UCF 20
Virginia 13 FINAL
Duke 20
Akron 20 FINAL
Ohio U 23
Western Mich 26 FINAL
Bowling Green 14
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
Massachusetts 36
Appalachian St 53 FINAL
Troy 14
(25) UCLA 36 FINAL
California 34
Texas A&M 0 FINAL
(4) Alabama 59
Army 17 FINAL
Kent State 39
Kansas 21 FINAL
Texas Tech 34
UAB 22 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 34
Rutgers 17 FINAL
(13) Ohio State 56
(8) Michigan State 56 FINAL
Indiana 17
New Mexico 31 FINAL
Air Force 35
NC State 18 FINAL
Louisville 30
(21) Clemson 17 FINAL
Boston College 13
Ball State 32 FINAL
Central Mich 29
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
SMU 3
(9) Georgia 45 FINAL
Arkansas 32
Oklahoma State 9 FINAL
(10) TCU 42
San Jose St 27 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Miami-Ohio 41 FINAL
Northern Ill 51
New Mexico St 17 FINAL
Idaho 29
Colorado 28 FINAL
(20) USC 56
(23) Marshall 45 FINAL
FIU 13
Southern Miss 30 FINAL
North Texas 20
Georgia Tech 43 FINAL
North Carolina 48
Tennessee 3 FINAL
(3) Ole Miss 34
Utah State 13 FINAL
Colorado State 16
Missouri 42 FINAL
Florida 13
Kentucky 3 FINAL
(24) LSU 41
(16) Nebraska 38 FINAL
Northwestern 17
Georgia State 27 FINAL
South Alabama 30
Washington 20 FINAL
(6) Oregon 45
Iowa State 45 FINAL
Texas 48
(7) Notre Dame 27 FINAL
(2) Florida State 31
Nevada 42 FINAL
BYU 35
Stanford 10 FINAL
(14) Arizona State 26
Hawaii 10 FINAL
San Diego St 20
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Columbus 3 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 2 FINAL
Los Angeles 2
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
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 Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close