Happy Sunday Funday everybody/
If you didn't see the Star Tribune Sunday coverage, go to www.startribune.com/wild.
There, you'll find my game story, game notebook on why Jordan Schroeder was reassigned, my first Sunday Insider of the new season on the Wild figuring out how/if it'll afford Jason Zucker, Matt Dumba, Jared Spurgeon and Darcy Kuemper and Jim Souhan's column on Charlie Coyle/Thomas Vanek.
I will be on KFAN in studio on Monday starting at 9:35 a.m.
With four days between Saturday’s game and Thursday’s at Arizona, coach Mike Yeo held a hard practice Sunday designed to bring structure to the Wild’s game he felt it lacked the first two games of the season.
The Wild will take Monday off before practicing Tuesday and Wednesday in St. Paul. It opens a three-game trip Thursday.
“The guys put the work in today, and that’s what we needed,” Yeo said. “I knew the guys would be tired, but you have to grind through it, and this gives us a full day-and-a-half of rest now.
“We did a lot of good things to be 2-0, but we should also not be satisfied with that. There’s a lot of areas we can be better.”
The Wild was shorthanded in practice Sunday because banged-up left wing Jason Zucker was given a maintenance day and center Tyler Graovac is still sidelined with what I believe is an aggravated hip flexor injury. As I reported, he hurt it training this summer.
Just to get through practice, Ryan Carter took Zucker’s spot on the Mikko Koivu-Nino Niederreiter line and defenseman Nate Prosser was a placeholder for Carter at right wing on the fourth line.
If Zucker practices Tuesday, Carter will go back to his spot and Prosser back to D.
Justin Fontaine, who missed the first two games with an oblique injury, skated with Thomas Vanek and Charlie Coyle.
Yeo said if Graovac can’t practice Tuesday, he’d be questionable for Thursday’s game. If he can’t practice Tuesday or Wednesday, he’s likely out Thursday and Friday.
Yeo said former Coyotes goalie Devan Dubnyk will make his first start at Arizona since the Jan. 14 trade to Minnesota. He’ll be shooting for his 100th career victory. Dubnyk’s Wild home debut last season was against the Coyotes. He stopped 25 of 26 shots in a win.
Darcy Kuemper is slated to make his season debut Friday at Los Angeles. In two games (one start) at the Staples Center, Kuemper is 1-0 with a 0.99 goals-against average and .962 save percentage.
The Coyotes are off to a great start, beating L.A. convincingly, then playing the second of a back-to-back and beating Pittsburgh last night. Yeo said they're playing a very fast game right now, so this three-game trip to Arizona, L.A. and Anaheim will be a test. The Wild opened 2-0 last season and returned home 2-2 because of losses at Anaheim and L.A. -- two games the Wild arguably should have won.
The Wild played great in Anaheim and two bad plays by Zucker and Dumba changed that game. In L.A., the Wild dominated and Jonathan Quick stole a win.
No practice Monday, so barring news, talk to ya Tuesday (or on the radio Monday morning).