Wild notes: Yeo wants Granlund, Brodin to protect themselves better

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 20, 2014 - 12:24 AM
hide

The Wild’s Charlie Coyle and Colorado’s Maxime Talbot got into a shoving match while battling for position during the first period of Game 2 on Saturday night. Coyle gave the Wild a 1-0 lead with a first-period goal before Colorado scored the next three and chased Ilya Bryzgalov.

Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– In Thursday’s Game 1, the Colorado Avalanche tried to set a physical tone, especially against the Wild’s more diminutive players, Mikael Granlund and Jonas Brodin.

Both survived, but coach Mike Yeo urged both to better protect themselves and the puck in Saturday’s rematch “not only so you’re not getting run through the boards and running the risk of getting hurt, but also because that’s the right play to give you a chance to execute.”

“If you’re not protecting the puck and not protecting yourself,” Yeo continued, “it’s probably going to lead to a turnover.”

That’s what occurred before Colorado’s first goal in Game 1. Gabriel Landeskog pasted Brodin against the glass and moments later he scored.

“We want to finish our checks. Yes, there’s no doubt about it,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said when asked if his team’s game plan was to target such players as Granlund and Brodin. “We don’t try to [hurt them], but we want to finish our check. I think it’s fair and I think it’s the way the game should be played. And if these guys play big minutes, we want them to play big minutes.

“The more tired they’re going to be, I think it benefits of us.”

The point of finishing checks is not simply to create loose pucks. It’s to create wear and tear, and not just late in games.

“You finish checks hard because you want players on both teams to feel it the next day,” Avs defenseman Erik Johnson said.

Granlund, who returned to the lineup for Game 1 after missing the final six games of the regular season because of a head injury, said the hard hits “didn’t affect my game. That’s just hockey. You need to take hits. That’s playoff hockey. It always is.”

Added Brodin: “We knew it’s going to be a tough series. … You have to see which line you’re playing against. You have to read it. Sometimes you have to protect yourself, sometimes you have to take a hit to make a play.”

Kuemper replaces Bryzgalov in second

Goalie Darcy Kuemper, who was cleared to return during Saturday’s morning skate, ended up replacing starter Ilya Bryzgalov with 8:01 left in the second period after Colorado took a 3-1 lead in Game 2.

Bryzgalov gave up three goals on 14 shots. Kuemper stopped all 14 shots he faced, including eight in the third period.

Before the game, Kuemper said, “I feel on top of my game. All the rust I’d say is gone.”

Kuemper, who left a pregame skate injured March 31 at Los Angeles, said he actually got hurt a few days before but it got progressively worse. He wasn’t physically ready for Thursday’s series opener, even in a backup role.

“I think if I had gone in for Game 1 as a backup, if something would have happened I don’t think I would have been in the spot I needed to be to help the team,” Kuemper said. “These extra two days have helped me get back to where I need to be. … You don’t want to put the team in a tough spot by coming before you’re ready.”

The Wild hasn’t specifically said what happened to Kuemper. Asked if it was an upper-, mid- or lower-body injury, Kuemper joked that he suffered “a body injury.”

Fletcher makes his case to officials’ supervisor

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 6:00 PM
Indiana
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Golden State 6:30 PM
Toronto
New York 6:30 PM
Detroit
Orlando 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Boston
LA Clippers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Houston
Miami 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Chicago
Utah 8:00 PM
Denver
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Portland
Boston 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Calgary 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Washington 6:00 PM
Carolina
Chicago 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Colorado 7:30 PM
Dallas
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Siena 5:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Harvard 5:30 PM
Cornell
Penn 6:00 PM
Brown
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Canisius
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Iona
Saint Peters 6:00 PM
Marist
Princeton 6:00 PM
Yale
Ohio 7:00 PM
Akron
Dartmouth 7:00 PM
Columbia
Valparaiso 9:00 PM
Cleveland State
Louisiana Tech 1:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
Xavier
Cornell 6:00 PM
Harvard
Yale 6:00 PM
(14) Princeton
Elon 6:00 PM
Drexel
Northeastern 6:00 PM
James Madison
St Johns 6:00 PM
Butler
Creighton 6:00 PM
Georgetown
Brown 6:00 PM
Penn
Columbia 6:00 PM
Dartmouth
Canisius 6:00 PM
Siena
St Josephs Brooklyn 6:00 PM
NJIT
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Colorado 7:00 PM
Arizona
Southern Ill 7:00 PM
Bradley
Drake 7:00 PM
Wichita State
Indiana State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Illinois State 7:05 PM
Loyola-Chicago
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Utah 7:30 PM
(10) Arizona State
Providence 7:30 PM
Villanova
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 is your favorite 'return' by a Minnesota athlete?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close