Wild trying to fix its faceoff struggles

  • Article by: JOSEPH D'HIPPOLITO , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 28, 2014 - 6:26 AM

Winning draws, once a strength, has become a problem for the team.

hide

Wild center Kyle Brodziak has struggled on faceoffs since taking a bigger role in the wake of Mikko Koivu’s injury.

Photo: File photo by Cal Sport Media via AP Images,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

– If the Stanley Cup playoffs began today, the Wild would face the Anaheim Ducks, tonight’s opponent and owner of the NHL’s best record.

If the Stanley Cup playoffs began today, the Wild would have to improve its ability to win faceoffs dramatically to have a chance.

The Wild’s success on draws plummeted after Mikko Koivu broke his right ankle Jan. 4., one day after Zenon Konopka was claimed by the Buffalo Sabres on waivers.

Koivu won 55.7 percent of the faceoffs he took before getting injured. Konopka has the NHL’s best faceoff percentage since the 2005-06 season.

Before Jan. 3, the Wild ranked among the NHL’s best five teams in faceoff percentage. Since Jan. 4, the Wild plunged to 10th with a .513 mark.

The losses most affected center Kyle Brodziak, whose season faceoff percentage fell from .502 to .490. Since Koivu’s injury, Brodziak lost 96 of 171 draws — including 15 of 17 in the Wild’s 3-2 overtime loss at San Jose on Saturday night.

“Winning some faceoffs that game definitely would have helped us,” said Wild center Charlie Coyle, who won only five of 18 draws against the Sharks. “We would’ve been able to establish a better forecheck and a better transition going into their zone and making plays.”

In San Jose, the Wild lost 41 of 59 draws to “probably the best faceoff team in the league,” Brodziak said.

“I think it got in their heads a little bit,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said about the struggles on faceoffs. “You have to be able to hit the reset button from game to game and, more importantly, within the game.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost five in a row. That doesn’t mean you’re going to lose the next one. You have to go in with the mind-set that you can’t wait to take that draw.”

Winning those draws requires more than emotional resiliency.

“When you have wingers who help you out, it’s pretty huge,” Coyle said. “Obviously, you can’t always win a clean faceoff. You just have to find a way to get the puck back. It’s a team effort off the bat.”

Knowing your opponent in the circle also plays a pivotal role.

“Some guys are really strong,” Brodziak said. “Some guys are quick; they have good technique. It’s tough to say what style makes somebody good. Everybody’s different.”

Knowing that opponent means devising a plan to react.

“You know what that guy’s tendencies are,” Coyle said. “You’ve got plenty on your mind with what you think he’s going to do. But the biggest part is just to pick a certain way you’re either going to tie him up or win the draw, and just stick to it 100 percent.

“You can’t think you’re doing one thing and do the other, and go halfway. You’ll lose it every time. That’s what I found out. You’ve got to go 100 percent with what you’re doing, whether it’s getting his stick, tying him up or whatever.”

  • related content

  • Gameday preview: Wild at Anaheim

    Monday January 27, 2014

    Wild Gameday9 p.m. at Anaheim • Honda Center • FSN, 100.3-FMPreview: If the playoffs started today, the teams would meet...

  • 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