Today’s Minnesota Wild practice at the Jobing.com Arena, home of the Phoenix Coyotes, was a concentrated affair. After yesterday’s 3-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, it was the type of practice you might expect: Physical, intense, detailed with battle drills mixed in for good measure.
The keys were puck retrieval and tenacity in the offensive zone. Wild Head Coach talked about the need for the team to place the puck in tough spots for opponents. Dumping pucks behind the net makes it harder for opposing defenders to retrieve it, and the Wild can set up its forecheck quicker.
UPDATED: WildTV video of Mike Yeo after practice.
Minnesota’s bench boss talked about the team’s game yesterday, what it needs to improve and the possibility of changing up the forward lines. WildTV will have that video up later today.
The Wild wasn’t able to shift things around too much because Matt Cullen was held out of practice after taking an awkward hit last night. Yeo expects him to skate tomorrow and be in the lineup as the Wild closes its two-game road trip on Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes. Here’s what the forward lines looked like today without Cullen:
Parise – Koivu – Heatley
Bouchard – Granlund – Setoguchi
Mitchell – Brodziak – Clutterbuck
Powe – Konopka – Kassian
Jared Spurgeon wasn’t on the ice today and Yeo called him a “long shot” to come back for Monday.
After practice, we talked to a few of the players about their Super Bowl picks, and we’ll post that on WildTV tomorrow. Also, the latest webisode for “Becoming Wild” presented by Toyota is on WildTV and features rookie defenseman Jonas Brodin making his NHL debut against the Detroit Red Wings.