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

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
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