Wild restructures defense with Brodin out

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 24, 2013 - 6:30 AM

The Wild defenseman has a broken cheekbone and is out indefinitely.

 

Jonas Brodin’s face is a mess.

“I haven’t seen him, but that’s what Donny says,” Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said Wednesday, referring to team athletic therapist Don Fuller. “[Brodin] needs a lot of dental work.”

The Wild’s 20-year-old top-pair defenseman also broke a cheekbone, which Fletcher said was “relatively good news.” It could have been a lot worse if Brodin had broken his jaw or orbital bone when he was struck by the puck on a Nashville dump-in early in Tuesday night’s 2-0 Wild victory.

Still, surgery hasn’t been ruled out, and the Wild will have a better idea of Brodin’s time frame for a return once that’s determined Thursday. Brodin won’t play Thursday against Carolina and will be sidelined indefinitely.

“That was pretty gruesome to watch, taking a puck in the face like that,” coach Mike Yeo said.

Brodin was off to a solid sophomore season, building on his already impressive defensive foundation while adding offense. After two goals and 11 points in 45 games last season, Brodin already had three goals and six points in his first nine games and was averaging nearly 26 minutes a night.

But no matter how long Brodin is out, the Wild feels it can overcome his loss if for no other reason than its strong defensive structure. Through 10 games, the Wild has given up 21.2 shots per game (fewest in the NHL), five 5-on-5 goals (fewest in the NHL) and 2.00 goals per game (fourth best in the NHL).

“Let’s put it this way, I’m not sitting here thinking, ‘Oh no, we lost Jonas and now we’re in trouble,’ ” Yeo said. “I still have a lot of confidence going into every game that we have a team capable of winning every night against any team. Obviously he’s a big loss for us, an important part of the team. Without question, we have the guys capable in there of keeping us at or even raising us to another level.”

Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Suter’s original defense partner before Brodin burst onto the scene four games into last season, will assume Brodin’s role. Quality play will be expected from Marco Scandella and Clayton Stoner, who both played well against Nashville.

“The minutes will be spread out more, and as long as we can keep limiting other team’s scoring chances, I don’t think there’s any concern,” Stoner said.

Getting a chance

With Brodin out, Nate Prosser, the eighth defenseman who has patiently waited for ice time the past two seasons, finally will get a chance.

“This is kind of the opportunity I’ve been waiting for,” said Prosser, solid in 20 ½ minutes Tuesday. “Obviously you never want an injury; praying for Brods and hopefully a speedy recovery. But when a guy goes down, a guy’s got to step in and pick up their game. I’ve got to come in and be a good penalty killer, make a good first pass, be physical, chirp a little bit — whatever I can do to help out.”

Prosser often has been a healthy scratch the past two seasons, but the Wild was 11-6 with him in the lineup last season. He was on the ice for two goals against last season. Fletcher said this is why he hasn’t traded Prosser.

“He’s a good player. He’s caught behind a lot of good players, but when Nate plays, we win a lot of games,” Fletcher said. “Teammates know exactly what they’re going to get from him every game.”

Rookie ready

With Keith Ballard expected to miss his fifth consecutive game because of a head injury (Ballard worked out Wednesday, but Yeo said the Wild is being cautious because of Ballard’s history of concussions), rookie Matt Dumba will get his shot.

Dumba has been inconsistent, understandable for a 19-year-old defenseman. He scored his first goal Oct. 12 against Dallas but also caused a 2-on-0 disadvantage against Tampa Bay and a Florida breakaway in consecutive games last week.

Yeo said part of Dumba’s adjustment from junior hockey is understanding he doesn’t have time to make that extra move at the blue line anymore. He was scratched against Nashville.

“[Tuesday night], I focused on guys like Spurg [Spurgeon] and Suts [Suter], how they move around the ice and their efficiency,” Dumba said. “I need to use that in my game, always being in the right position and moving the puck up ice quickly.”

Dumba has played six games. After he plays in nine, the Wild will decide whether to return him to Red Deer of the Western Hockey League. Yeo thinks that landmark is in Dumba’s head and has caused nerves.

Fletcher repeated Wednesday that in his mind, the 10-game threshold in which the first year of Dumba’s three-year contract is burned isn’t nearly as important as the 41-game threshold in which the first year toward Dumba’s seven-year unrestricted free agency status burns off.

“He’s just got to play and not worry about that stuff,” Fletcher said.

“Our defensive structure has been excellent all year. The way we move the puck … the coaches have done a great job implementing the system, and the players have bought in. We have the depth to overcome Jonas’ injury.”



 

  • related content

  • Video: Wild Minute: Russo shows off his glamour shot

    Friday October 25, 2013

    Today could be the day we learn how long Jonas Brodin will be out

  • Gameday preview: Carolina at Wild

    Wednesday October 23, 2013

    wild gameday7 p.m. VS. CAROLINA • XCEL • FSN, 100.3-FMPreview: On “Harding’s Hope” Night, goalie Josh Harding, whose charity benefits...

  • Wild's Jonas Brodin suffers broken cheekbone

    Wednesday October 23, 2013

    Typically, players can play through such an injury with a cage, but that can't be determined until once the swelling goes down.

  • Jonas Brodin of the Wild.

  • Injuries to Jonas Brodin and Keith Ballard mean rookie Matt Dumba (55) will see more ice time.

  • 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 4th Qtr 0:16
Phoenix 103
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 3rd Prd 12:41
Los Angeles 2
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 67 2nd Half 5:52
Washington 49
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