Wild notes: Power-play units take shape

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 18, 2013 - 12:32 AM
hide

Wild captain Mikko Koivu and right winger Jason Pominville conferred.

Photo: BRIAN PETERSON, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Mike Yeo wants to take a big step forward on the power play this season, and the first real look at what the Wild coach is thinking in terms of units came Monday when the Wild worked on special teams in training camp.

On the No. 1 unit, Yeo had Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley up front with defenseman Ryan Suter and winger Jason Pominville at the points. The second unit is up in the air depending on who makes the team, but it could be filled to the brim with youngsters.

Forwards Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Justin Fontaine all were given looks Monday, as well as veterans Matt Cooke and Kyle Brodziak. The point men are subject to change depending on whether 19-year-old Matt Dumba makes the team. If not, Jared Spurgeon likely would be joined by Marco Scandella or Jonas Brodin.

The Wild improved from 27th to 16th on the power play last season (second on the road, 28th at home), but Yeo wants to be “one of the elite teams in the league. … We have to have a little bit more of a ‘play the game, make the read and then attack when it’s there’ mentality.”

“We have the personnel for sure,” Pominville said. “We just have to get it done.”

Pominville said it should help having former Wild forward Andrew Brunette aiding the power play this season. He was on the ice during Monday’s practice and will work with Yeo often on the man advantage. Yeo said Brunette plans some new wrinkles.

Brunette was on the ice for more power-play goals (216) than any player in Wild history. In Minnesota, he scored 55 power-play goals (second in team history) and 136 power-play points (third in team history).

Pominville’s big shot up top could help. Playing the point often is difficult for forwards, especially when it comes to defending potential shorthanded rushes, but the veteran filled that role often in Buffalo.

“He’s a weapon over there,” Yeo said. “He’s going to open up a lot more ice for everybody else just because the respect that he’s going to have. But his reads, too, you saw him jumping down backdoor, and his ability to find lanes and jump into holes is going to be big for us.”

Getting ready

Because there were no exhibition games during last’s season’s abbreviated training camp, Tuesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets actually will be the preseason debuts for Zucker, Coyle, Granlund and Dumba. Niederreiter and Fontaine also will play.

“I think these games are going to tell the tale to see who’s ready to make the team,” Zucker said. “I’m just excited to play hockey again. I’d be excited to play all six [preseason] games.”

Other notables scheduled to play Tuesday are Cooke, Keith Ballard, Jonathon Blum, Bloomington’s Brian Connelly and tryout David Steckel.

Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper will be in goal.

Shallower goal

During Monday’s practice, the Wild used the NHL’s new “shallower” goal cage, which gives more room behind the net.

“It’s creates a little more room behind the net and even around the net feels like a little more room, so it should make a bit of difference,” Koivu said. “The more room you have behind, the more opportunity it gives you to make plays.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 3rd Prd 20:00
NY Islanders 2
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) 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
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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