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Continued: Wild's approach after Game 1 loss: 'Deal with it and move on'

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 19, 2014 - 10:53 AM

Added Yeo: “They got goals coming directly off our stick. We had the hockey game on our stick.”

The hope is Haula’s speed will help neutralize some of Colorado’s speedier, more skilled forwards, especially rookie Nathan MacKinnon, who assisted on three goals in his playoff debut.

“Whatever the task, whatever the role, I’ll take that challenge,” Haula said.

But Yeo also wants the Wild to be more aggressive in the defensive zone.

“I think we had too much respect for them, personally,” Yeo said. “I look at situations where we’re in D-zone and we’re on our heels. Normally we’re on our toes, we’re jumping, we’re pressuring. We always talk about our structure, but it doesn’t mean anything if we’re giving time and space to great players. … I know we can pressure the puck harder, I know that we can take straight lines and go through guys harder.”

Similarly, Yeo said, “I don’t believe we made things hard enough on them physically.”

The Wild spent a large part of practice trying to clean up tactical things, such as cutting off those bang-bang plays the Avs like to make out of the corner and from behind the net. Colorado’s first, fourth and fifth goals came like that.

“You’ve got to be careful with skilled guys. You don’t want to overcommit yourself,” Zach Parise said. “We can do a better job of stopping the cycle earlier and being a little more physical and pinning them rather than letting them cycle and cycle.”

It was a long night for the Wild. Players had trouble sleeping. They woke up with regret because they so had Game 1 in the grasp of their hands.

But now, the Wild must rebound.

“There’s still a lot of hockey to be played,” Cooke said. “When we started this process, if you said we were going to lose a game to the Colorado Avalanche, everybody would have expected that. So it’s one game. We have to build off last game, and the good thing is we feel there are areas we can be better.”

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