Wild notes: Suter likes his league-leading time on the ice

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 15, 2014 - 12:56 AM

Ryan Suter

Photo: Jim Mone, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger


The Wild is four games into a stretch of 20 games in 37 nights. In the first three games, defenseman Ryan Suter topped 31 minutes in two and logged 34 minutes, 12 ­seconds in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

That was the sixth time Suter topped 34 minutes this season and 33rd time he hit the 30-minute mark.

Suter’s ice time continues to be eye-popping. He averages a league-leading 29 minutes, 56 seconds a game — 2 minutes, 35 seconds more than anybody else in the NHL.

Mike Yeo is asked often about Suter’s ice time. Lately, there have been mutterings in NHL circles that Suter’s exorbitant ice time is hurting his effectiveness.

The Wild coach didn’t go as far as saying that Thursday morning, but Yeo agreed that with the amount of games the Wild has coming up, “we have to make sure we’re monitoring” Suter’s ice time.

“Suts is accustomed to playing big minutes,” Yeo said. “I think [the Oilers] game was still a lot for him.”

The Wild looked to lower Suter’s minutes Thursday in a 2-1 win over the Rangers. He logged 28:55, a ton for most NHLers but Suter’s second-lowest in the past 13 games.

Yeo also indicated that the career-high 30 minutes, 40 seconds Suter’s defense partner, Jared Spurgeon, played against Edmonton was too much. Spurgeon was down to 25:13 Thursday.

One reason the ice time for Suter and Spurgeon has been so high is because the defensemen on the Wild’s third pair have been playing 10 minutes or less per game.

Not only is Suter fine with his ice time, he routinely tells assistant coach Rick Wilson, who makes the defense changes from the bench, that he wants to play this much. He feels the more you play, the more rhythm you get into.

“Honestly, I feel good,” Suter said. “When I came back from the Olympics, mentally, I think I was a little drained. Last two games, I felt good and felt like I had a lot more jump and was back on track.

“It’s mental. Some games are harder than others. [Against Edmonton], we weren’t playing a lot of defense, and when we were in our end, we were getting it out quick. Those are easier games than when teams are hounding you and all over you, like Dallas in the first period [Saturday]. But I feel fresh now.”

D-men healthy again

Marco Scandella’s return from a sprained knee last week gave the Wild seven healthy defensemen for the first time in weeks. In four consecutive games, Yeo has rotated his third defense pair, scratching Nate Prosser, Clayton Stoner or Keith Ballard. Thursday against the Rangers, it was Prosser’s turn to sit.

Asked why he just doesn’t pick six defensemen and ride it, Yeo said: “I don’t think that anybody deserves to just come out of the lineup and stay out of the lineup. We have to go by more than just a one-game sample size. That’s the way we always do it here. Those guys played really good hockey for us for a long time. You look at how we counted on them when Spurgeon was out of the lineup, how we counted on them when Marco was out of the lineup. Those guys not only got us through those [injuries] but really helped us take our game to another level.”

Harding puts on the pads

Two days after skating for the first time in two months, goalie Josh Harding put on the pads for the first time. Harding, out since Dec. 31 because of complications from multiple sclerosis, took shots and did puck-handling drills with goalie coach Bob Mason on ­Thursday morning.

“It’s a great sign that he’s feeling much better, and he’s focused and motivated to try to get back with us,” Yeo said. “With that said, we’re still a few steps away. It’s not like he’s a week away from rejoining us here, but it’s a good first step.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland - LP: R. Cook 3 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: F. Salas 4
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 31 FINAL
Oakland 41
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8:00 PM
UNLV 9:30 PM
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question