Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Finns are guiding the way for Wild in playoffs

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 26, 2014 - 12:39 PM

The Avalanche has targeted Granlund all series. Whether it’s Colorado going out of its way to check him or giving him an extracurricular shove as Erik Johnson kept doing Thursday or cross-checking him to the ice ferociously the way Paul Stastny did Thursday, Granlund simply peels himself off the ice and continues to perform.

Granlund played pro hockey in Finland, leading his team to a title. He has played in world juniors, world championships and the Olympics. So he might be 22, but Yeo said, “He’s used to playing in these big moments. He’s been a guy counted on, and he’s been a guy that’s delivered.”

“He’s one of those guys you want to have on your side,” added Haula, who while playing for the University of Minnesota last year helped his countryman and pal, Granlund, get adjusted to Minnesota during his rookie year.

Moving up

Haula, 23, who scored his first career playoff goal in Game 1, began this series on the fourth line. He spent the final seven games of the regular season on the second line as Granlund recuperated from a concussion. Now he’s the mainstay of a young third line, taking struggling Kyle Brodziak’s spot and pivoting a line with 21-year-old Nino Niederreiter (who replaced the suspended Matt Cooke) and fellow rookie Justin Fontaine, 26.

“He keeps taking on a little bit more,” Yeo said of Haula.

Yeo wants the games of all his young players to look the same no matter what line they’re on or role they play.

“Two weeks ago, Haulzy was playing on our second line, and his game looked the same as it does right now,” said Yeo, adding that not only is Haula astute defensively on the checking line, but offensively he’s still first on pucks, using his speed, playing strong down low and creating plays.

The biggest similarity among Koivu, Granlund and Haula is how good they are defensively, which is the Wild’s bread and butter.

“That’s a Finnish thing,” Brunette said. “Defense is a priority and something they take a lot of pride in. That’s why the coaches trust them so much. They take care of their own end as much as they do the other.”

  • related content

  • Video: Rand: Wild poised to feed starved market a winner

    Saturday April 26, 2014

    In a market where the top four pro sports teams are a combined 7-30 in playoff games in the...

  • Scoggins: Balance, tenacity shift momentum for Wild

    Saturday April 26, 2014

    The Wild could do no wrong in Games 3 and 4, evening its series against Colorado. So how does coach Mike Yeo bottle that up and transport it to Denver?

  • Avalanche notes: Roy makes it clear he has his team's back

    Saturday April 26, 2014

    Patrick Roy covered everything from hockey history to the manhood of his team during a Friday session with the media.

  • Wild notes: Aggressive penalty kill yielding results

    Saturday April 26, 2014

    The Wild’s players and coaches believed a tighter focus on detail could turn an apparent deficiency into an asset.

  • Mikael Granlund attempted a shot on Colorado goalie Semyon Varlamov in the first period of Game 4. One big reason the Wild pulled out victories in Games 3 and 4 to turn the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Avalanche into a best-of-three series is the play up the middle by Mikko Koivu (Turku, Finland), Granlund (Oulu, Finland) and Erik Haula (Pori, Finland).

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Fla Southern 2 FINAL
Detroit 12
Miami 7
Toronto 114 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Golden State 108 FINAL
Brooklyn 110
Phoenix 98 FINAL
Miami 115
LA Clippers 110 FINAL
Minnesota 105
New Orleans 93 FINAL
Dallas 102
Nashville 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Carolina 2 FINAL
Chicago 5
Montreal 0 FINAL
San Jose 4
Virginia 59 FINAL
Syracuse 47
Baylor 59 FINAL
Texas 61
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
Northwestern St 92
Central Arkansas 49 FINAL
Sam Houston St 76
Norfolk State 59 FINAL
Howard 61
Bethune-Cookman 50 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 75 FINAL
Delaware State 85
Lamar 69 FINAL
McNeese State 70
Nicholls 89 FINAL
New Orleans 79
Incarnate Word 62 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 83
NC Central 62 FINAL
Savannah State 49
Texas Southern 77 FINAL
Alabama A&M 75
Prairie View 67 FINAL
Alabama State 65
Oklahoma 70 FINAL
Iowa State 77
Grambling St 62 FINAL
Miss Valley St 66
Boston College 66 FINAL
Virginia Tech 59
Jackson State 62 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 64
Bethune-Cookman 55 FINAL
NC A&T 58
Hampton 78 FINAL
Delaware State 63
Norfolk State 63 FINAL
Howard 60
NC Central 54 FINAL
Savannah State 65
Texas Southern 83 FINAL
Alabama A&M 46
Prairie View 42 FINAL
Alabama State 60
Jackson State 78 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 74
Grambling 56 FINAL
Miss Valley St 61
Tulsa 71 FINAL
Cincinnati 58
(1) Connecticut 88 FINAL
South Florida 65
East Carolina 67
Central Conn St 53 FINAL
Bryant 55
Wagner 66 FINAL
Robert Morris 60
Sacred Heart 75 FINAL
Fairleigh Dickinson 84
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Long Island 49
Mount St Marys 87 FINAL
St Francis-PA 90
Temple 56 FINAL
Houston 45
Texas Tech 65 FINAL
(6) Baylor 75
Iowa State 64 FINAL
Kansas 68
Memphis 53
Oklahoma 66 FINAL
Oklahoma St 56
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the hockey season?

Weekly Question