Yeo puts Wild through extra-long practice after ugly loss

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 21, 2013 - 12:56 AM

Yeo and team dive headfirst into fixing shortcomings.

 

– There were battle drills galore during Friday’s Wild practice. There were drills to force players to execute in high-traffic areas. There were drills to manufacture a high-tempo pace. There was plenty of special teams work, and of course, there were juggled lines.

With two days before Sunday’s game against the New York Rangers, coach Mike Yeo, still uptight after the Wild’s unsightly loss the night before to the Penguins, put the Wild through the longest practice of the season Friday after another air-things-out team meeting.

The Wild skated at a rink near Robert Morris University for nearly two hours, and the Zamboni even emerged to flood the ice and resurface halfway through — an oddity, particularly as the fueled-up team charter waited at Pittsburgh airport past its scheduled departure time to transport the Wild to New York City.

“We thought the day off [Wednesday] might help us put some energy in the tank and get ourselves revved up for [Thursday’s] game,” Yeo said. “But apparently that wasn’t the case.”

So Yeo is “looking forward to our next two games.” He expects the same workmanlike effort when the Wild practices Saturday at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

The Wild, the second-worst offensive team in the NHL at 2.19 goals per game, scored twice Thursday, and not until it trailed 4-0. It has scored 22 goals in the past 14 games (1.57 per game). In those 14 games, it has scored two or fewer goals in 12. In a 1-5-1 road streak, it has scored seven times.

So, Yeo went back to his line laboratory and experimented with new ones Friday. He reunited the Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Jason Pominville line — the one that hasn’t exactly lit it up when together this year or last.

Kyle Brodziak centered Nino Niederreiter and Dany Heatley and Charlie Coyle centered Matt Cooke and Justin Fontaine, who has been scratched in the past three games. Zenon Konopka centered Erik Haula and Torrey Mitchell.

“We haven’t been scoring a lot of goals, so we have to try something,” Yeo said.

The lines would change if Mikael Granlund, who has missed 11 games with a concussion, is able to return. But Yeo said Friday that Granlund has not officially been cleared to return. He competed in battle drills Friday, but during line rushes he played as a defenseman and wasn’t part of either power-play unit.

“We want him back, there’s no question,” Yeo said. “But last time we got him back, we got him back for a whole shift. So we want to make sure — he’s got to be cleared to play. He looks great. I think he’s competing hard, he’s doing a lot of things that he’d be doing in games. I’m just not exactly sure what the next step is.”

Searching for effort

The Wild reassigned Brett Bulmer to Iowa of the American Hockey League and plans to flip goalies after Saturday’s practice. Johan Gustafsson is expected to be reassigned and Darcy Kuemper recalled to back up Niklas Backstrom against the Rangers and potentially start Monday in Philadelphia.

Yeo declined to get “too in-depth” into the things discussed in the team meeting. But too often this season, the Wild has uttered words like “we weren’t ready” and “we weren’t prepared” to play.

It’s more “between the ears,” Yeo said. “It’s telling yourself the things you need to do in the game and being willing to do them through the course of the game. It’s a matter of accepting it’s going to be hard and being able to put in the work and paying the price that’s required.”

Parise, a minus-3 with Koivu on Thursday, said, “It’s not as if we go into the game just laughing and not prepared. We’re all ready to play.

“I find sometimes the extra effort isn’t there. Whenever there’s a loose puck, the other team is getting on it quicker and you’re slow to react and you’re hesitant. … Our execution coming through the neutral zone and in the offensive zone was pretty poor.”

  • related content

  • Granlund not yet cleared to return to Wild; Bulmer sent back to AHL

    Friday December 20, 2013

    The Wild practiced for two hours at a suburban rink near Pittsburgh after last night's ghastly defeat.

  • Mike Yeo after Thursday's loss: "We stunk"

    Thursday December 19, 2013

    “We were not ready to play the game hard enough,” Yeo said. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror – all of us. We did what we did to...

  • Minnesota Wild's Keith Ballard (2) tries to clear Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) from in front of Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. The Penguins won 5-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Golden State 99 FINAL
Cleveland 110
Oklahoma City 113 FINAL
Phoenix 117
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Arizona 3 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Montreal 5 FINAL
Columbus 2
Philadelphia 2 FINAL
Toronto 3
Chicago 3 FINAL
Florida 0
St. Louis 2 FINAL(SO)
Winnipeg 1
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Nashville 2
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 0
Detroit 3 FINAL
San Jose 2
Northern Ky 78 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
East Tenn St 73 FINAL
Citadel 74
Winthrop 50 FINAL
Campbell 65
Delaware 58 FINAL
Drexel 44
Jacksonville St 57 FINAL
Eastern Ky 63
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Elon 72
Sacred Heart 90 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 85
Western Carolina 49 FINAL
Furman 53
Char Southern 81 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Western Ill 66 FINAL
IUPUI 71
Nebraska Omaha 73 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 67
Radford 69 FINAL
Liberty 80
St Francis-NY 74 FINAL
Long Island 69
Wofford 76 FINAL
Mercer 72
Minnesota 96 FINAL
Michigan State 90
High Point 75 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 71
Samford 67 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Nebraska 57 FINAL
Ohio State 81
Wagner 59 FINAL
Robert Morris 91
Mount St Marys 60 FINAL
St Francis-PA 63
Houston 54 FINAL
Temple 66
Vanderbilt 73 FINAL
Tennessee 65
Chattanooga 86 FINAL
Va Military 82
Milwaukee 61 FINAL
Wright State 58
Coastal Carolina 69 FINAL
Presbyterian 80
Central Conn St 69 FINAL
Bryant 77
Ga Southern 77 FINAL
Appalachian St 58
SIU Edwardsville 61 FINAL
Austin Peay 64
Green Bay 72 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 67
Texas-El Paso 60 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 77
FIU 69 FINAL
Marshall 87
Rider 63 FINAL
Monmouth 60
Eastern Ill 57 FINAL
Murray State 65
Charlotte 65 FINAL
North Texas 81
North Dakota St 58 FINAL
Oral Roberts 74
Old Dominion 63 FINAL
Rice 54
TX-San Antonio 66 FINAL
Southern Miss 70
UT Martin 69 FINAL
Tennessee St 52
Fla Atlantic 68 FINAL
Western Ky 71
Northern Ariz 85 FINAL
North Dakota 75
Grand Canyon 70 FINAL
Chicago State 74
Utah Valley U 50 FINAL
UMKC 69
ULM 75 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Texas-Arlington 80 FINAL
Arkansas State 81
Georgia State 83 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 92
Troy 61 FINAL
Texas State 67
Arizona 82 FINAL
Colorado 54
SMU 66 FINAL
Memphis 57
Tenn Tech 73 FINAL
Morehead State 86
Rutgers 85 FINAL
Purdue 92
Southern Utah 67 FINAL
Northern Colorado 77
Montana State 68 FINAL
Eastern Wash 92
UC Davis 60 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 74
UC Irvine 63 FINAL
Cal Poly 56
Cal State Fullerton 72 FINAL
CS-Northridge 82
Montana 87 FINAL
Idaho 92
BYU 82 FINAL
Portland 69
Pacific 64 FINAL
Santa Clara 57
Arizona State 41 FINAL
Utah 83
San Diego 39 FINAL
Gonzaga 59
St Marys-CA 84 FINAL
San Francisco 53
Oregon State 48 FINAL
Stanford 75
Long Beach State 59 FINAL
Hawaii 78
Rice 68 FINAL
Old Dominion 83
Manhattan 67 FINAL
Monmouth 84
Georgia Southern 39 FINAL
Appalachian St 66
Marshall 74 FINAL
FIU 50
TX-Arlington 62 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
ULM 45 FINAL
South Alabama 38
Troy 75 FINAL
Texas State 59
Georgia State 39 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 56
William & Mary 84 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 55
Delaware 68 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
UMBC 41 FINAL
Maine 61
UMass Lowell 72 FINAL
Vermont 64
Albany 65 FINAL
Hartford 50
Stony Brook 68 FINAL
Binghamton 59
Boston College 60 FINAL
(8) Louisville 77
(23) Syracuse 60 FINAL
Clemson 55
(16) Duke 62 FINAL
Georgia Tech 71
Florida 53 FINAL
Alabama 49
NC State 52 FINAL
(9) Florida State 72
Miami-Florida 59 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
LSU 57 FINAL
Ole Miss 58
(11) Miss State 50 FINAL
(2) South Carolina 69
Fairfield 74 FINAL
Iona 62
Marist 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 66
Quinnipiac 91 FINAL
Rider 53
Virginia 70 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 72
Pittsburgh 59 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 87
Ohio State 88 FINAL
Penn State 70
Massachusetts 60 FINAL
Dayton 69
(22) George Washington 81 FINAL
Richmond 69
Saint Louis 53 FINAL
Rhode Island 68
Wright State 74 FINAL
Detroit 59
Green Bay 70 FINAL
Oakland 55
Western Ky 85 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 74
Indiana 72 FINAL
(5) Maryland 83
North Texas 46 FINAL
Charlotte 71
Central Arkansas 64 FINAL
Sam Houston St 56
SE Louisiana 60 FINAL
Northwestern St 71
Nicholls 63 FINAL
New Orleans 68
Incarnate Word 44 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 58
Denver 68 FINAL
No Dakota State 87
IUPU-Ft Wayne 61 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 70
IUPUI 53 FINAL
South Dakota 69
Lamar 77 FINAL
McNeese State 98
Western Ill 49 FINAL
South Dakota St 69
Missouri 70 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 69
(13) Kentucky 56 FINAL
Arkansas 51
(20) Rutgers 60 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 80
Southern Miss 61 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 59
Wisconsin 74 FINAL
(17) Iowa 78
North Dakota 68 FINAL
Northern Ariz 72
Northern Colorado 88 FINAL
Southern Utah 66
Louisiana Tech 0 Postponed
Texas-El Paso 0
Eastern Washington 53 FINAL
Montana State 63
Idaho 68 FINAL
Montana 81
Auburn 70 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(6) Tennessee 70 FINAL
Georgia 59
Gonzaga 62 FINAL
San Diego 75
USC 48 FINAL
Washington 60
Portland 63 FINAL
BYU 65
(24) California 74 FINAL
Oregon 59
(19) Stanford 69 FINAL
(7) Oregon State 58
Chicago State 49 FINAL
Grand Canyon 73
UMKC 51 FINAL
Utah Valley U 61
San Francisco 65 FINAL
St Marys-CA 62
UCLA 74 FINAL
Washington St 69
Santa Clara 75 FINAL
Pacific 87
CS-Northridge 65 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 53
UC Santa Barbara 47 FINAL
Cal-Irvine 57
Hawaii 47 FINAL
Long Beach St 46
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
UC Davis 50
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 is your favorite 'return' by a Minnesota athlete?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close