The Wild had a pretty impressive work day down at the X this morning as Mike Yeo and his staff put the Wild through several exhaustive drills to simulate all sorts of issues the team had last night during its overtime loss to Detroit.
It started off with something you normally don't see at an NHL skate -- practicing line changes.
Last night, Yeo felt the Wild had several problems with their changes. Where the Wild placed pucks and the way the Wild changed allowed Detroit to come with speed, and then the next group of five spent its entire shift backchecking, playing in their zone and working to get the puck back before they had to go change.
It became a vicious cycle the Wild couldn't stop.
So a lot of the first drill was puck placement, change and then the right plan coming off the bench to get the puck back.
The rest of the drills were designed to tire the team out and force them to execute while in a state of fatigue. Like the above, the Wild spent so much time in its end last night, it got grinded down. Then it executed poorly in a state of exhaustion. Today, the Wild worked to make the right plays while tired. Yeo forced the team to, instead of chipping the puck out or slap it around the glass, to move its feet, to make the right play and to get the Wild out of precarious situations so fresh bodies could hit the ice.
It was an interesting, long practice to watch. It was not a punishment, not a bag skate. It was a workmanlike practice to make the team better.
The Wild's got a long way to go, but these are the type of practices that should help get them there.
As for the personnel, everybody survived last night healthy, so the only player not at practice was injured Mike Lundin, who continues to work off the ice to get back from his back injury. The last few days, he's been off the ice firing puck after puck in the cage.