Wild notes: Coyle, Niederreiter seek to end struggles

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 22, 2014 - 12:42 AM

Coyle, Niederreiter mired in scoring slumps.

hide

Charlie Coyle moved down the right wing on Monday during the Wild’s 4-1 loss in Boston. Coyle has scored only seven goals in 58 games this season after having a strong training camp.

Photo: CHARLES KRUPA • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

With 12 games left in the regular season, the Wild can expect to face opponents playing as if their season is on the line.

First up? The injury-riddled Detroit Red Wings, who enter this weekend’s home-and-home series with the Wild with their 22-season playoff streak in jeopardy.

The Wild needs similar desperation down the stretch, especially from two youngsters.

Charlie Coyle, 22, and Nino Niederreiter, 21, play significant roles and have been up and down lately.

Coach Mike Yeo met with both before Tuesday’s game at the New York Islanders.

“The first thing I said is, ‘What do you guys have in common?’ ” Yeo said. “Age wasn’t the answer. It’s size. These guys have to play big, and we need them to play big. Both these guys have played their best hockey when they’ve played a physical brand of hockey, when they’re finishing checks, absorbing hits, controlling the puck, they’re engaged in the physical part of the game. And then everything else is following suit.

“We want these guys to create, we want these guys to be a factor offensively, but that’s only going to happen when the game is consistently there.”

Thursday night at New Jersey, the Dany Heatley-Coyle-Niederreiter line struggled. At Friday’s practice, Niederreiter skated on a line with veterans Matt Cooke and Kyle Brodziak, while rookie Erik Haula, scratched in the past two games, skated on the left side of Coyle and Heatley.

Earlier this season, the Jason Zucker-Coyle-Heatley line developed good chemistry. Zucker, out for the season because of a quadriceps injury, and Haula have similar speed.

“That’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the lineup,” Coyle said. “You never know what different combinations will click, but I like a guy with speed on the wing, and Haula’s kind of like a Zucker there. I think it will be good.”

Fighting the puck

Coyle has seven goals and 20 points in 58 games. Niederreiter has 12 goals and 33 points in 70 games. Both admit they’re frustrated.

“I personally put the biggest pressure on myself,” Niederreiter said. “Every night I’m going out there trying to play the same style game and when you have chances and don’t put them in, that’s where you get frustrated.

“Obviously, you think about it. Against the Isles, I had two great chances — one early on the breakaway, one on the power play at the end. Those are chances you have to put in and those are the chances where you look back and get frustrated.”

It’s no coincidence that Niederreiter struggled Thursday in New Jersey, losing battles all game. Similarly, you can tell Coyle isn’t happy.

“Sometimes it’ll get in your head,” he said. “You want to help contribute. But you’ve got to not let it. Everybody goes through slumps and all that. If I’m not scoring and we’re playing good and we’re winning, then it’s fine.

“But I want to help contribute and help this team win in whatever that entails. I want to bring my game every night, be consistent and just make something happen every shift, be a difference maker no matter what that is.”

Yeo wants Coyle and Niederreiter to stop worrying about their lack of scoring.

“When a young kid is pressing or he’s thinking he has to score a goal, other parts of their game falter,” Yeo said. “My focus for them is to concentrate on having a good game and the results will come.”

No suspension

Nate Prosser wasn’t reprimanded by the NHL for his elbowing major Thursday on the Devils’ Tim Sestito, who was injured as he tried to check the Wild defenseman.

“I didn’t know what really happened until I saw the replay,” Prosser said. “I was pretty sure I didn’t get him with my elbow, and it obviously wasn’t intentional.

“As soon as the puck got dumped in, I knew the line we were out against and I saw some guys barreling down. He probably took 10 strides before he got to me, so he’s at full speed. So I knew he was coming and that was a natural reaction to somewhat protect myself.”

Etc.

• A scoring change from Thursday’s game resulted in Zach Parise losing a goal and Ryan Suter gaining one. Suter’s shot on the Wild’s first goal was not tipped in by Parise but went in off a Devils player.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 51 2nd Qtr 1:20
Golden State 54
Washington 44 2nd Qtr 0:57
LA Lakers 57
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 1 3rd Prd 18:25
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 2 2nd Prd 7:55
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
UNLV 46 2nd Half 9:12
Nevada 43
SD Christian 46 2nd Half 5:00
CS-Bakersfield 69
Colorado State 13 1st Half 10:45
Boise State 16
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
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: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close