Wild healthy for practice; Yeo lauds Kuemper

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 14, 2014 - 6:39 PM
hide

Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper

The Wild conducted a fairly routine practice Friday at Xcel Energy Center, with Thursday’s win over the New York Rangers having lifted some of the pressure of two consecutive shootout losses to start their four-game homestand.

Everyone was healthy and active, including TV analyst Mike Greenlay, who was sporting an impressive shiner to go with his five stitches. Greenlay was none the worse for wear after being clipped under the left eye by a stick while calling Thursday’s game from between the benches.

Darcy Kuemper bounced back from a subpar game against Edmonton on Tuesday, making 29 saves for his 12th victory of the season. That breaks the Wild’s record for victories by a rookie; the previous mark of 11 was set by Josh Harding in 2007-08.

Kuemper is now 12-4-3 and has not lost consecutive games in regulation this season.

Coach Mike Yeo had anticipated a strong comeback by Kuemper, calling him a “water off the duck’s back kind of guy.’’ That kind of resilience, Yeo said, is an “extra important quality’’ in the NHL. He added that Kuemper probably was helped by his extensive junior hockey experience, when he also had to get past bad performances quickly because of a rigorous schedule that left no time for moping.

“Everyone’s going to have an off night, and everyone’s going to have a great night,’’ Yeo said. “You can’t sit around and be thinking about that and preparing for the next game at the same time.

“Young players have to learn how to prepare, how to learn, in a lot of ways, what it means to be a pro. For a guy like (Kuemper), one thing that’s helped is the fact he’s played junior hockey, where they play a schedule that’s similar in the amount of games they play and how up and down a season can be. And also, spending the time in the (AHL). For a player like that, that’s a big help.’’

Yeo is likely to stick with the same lines Saturday, when the Wild end the homestand against Columbus. He said he would like to get Justin Fontaine back into the lineup, but Fontaine is a victim of circumstance.

He is tied for third among Wild forwards with 12 goals, but he has not played since March 3, sitting out the past four games.

“Part of it is based on roles right now,’’ Yeo said. “We’re going to need our fourth line to play, and we’re going to need them to eat up minutes. It’s not just the five-on-five. We’ve got (Dany Heatley), who’s playing on the power play, he’s taking up minutes there. We’ve got (Erik) Haula and (Cody) McCormick, both key guys on the penalty kill right now.

“Unfortunately for (Fontaine), he wouldn’t factor in on either one of those right now; he’s not a penalty killer, and he’s not a power-play guy with the guys we have in the lineup. So we do want to get him in the lineup, but at the same time, we’ve got guys in roles right now, so we have to approach it that way.’’

Yeo lauded Haula, but hedged on whether the center might move up from the fourth line to the third. Yeo said he is considering it, but added that Haula has to continue earning his assignments on a nightly basis. Columbus should be another good test for the Wild, Yeo said.

The Blue Jackets are healthy and have four solid lines, and he anticipates the game will be a tight-checking one, similar to the Rangers game.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
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