Posted by Mike Doyle
Guillaume Latendresse (groin) was back on the ice today after missing three days of practice and the Wild’s last game against the Vancouver Canucks. Head Coach Mike Yeo said Latendresse felt great and that he will be available tomorrow night against the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center, but hasn’t decided if he will play.
If Latendresse is held out of the lineup for more rest, expect to see the top two lines combinations of Clutterbuck-Koivu-Heatley and Bouchard-Cullen-Setoguchi. Yeo said Clutterbuck might be a good fit on the line because he is the type of player who can retrieve loose pucks in the corners and provide a physical presence alongside the skill of Koivu and Heatley. Clutterbuck also spent some time standing in front of the net on the power play because according to Yeo, “He’s really good at annoying people” and hopes the forward can annoy opposing goaltenders while screening them. We couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not.
The second line of Bouchard-Cullen-Setoguchi will be interesting to watch because of their speed. Yeo said that the team has to find a way to be at their best every night, and that he wasn’t just brining out the bingo balls and hoping to find a winner. Yeo said there are several things that can put fear into other teams and one of those things is speed, so he is intrigued to see how they will perform together. Sometimes you have to mix things up to provide a spark.
Against Vancouver, a spark was found in the third line of Buler-Brodziak-Johnson, and Yeo said it would be tough to tinker with the trio. Brodziak scored on a strong side one-timer after receiving a pass from Johnson, who ditched a Vancouver defenseman behind the net with a quick U-turn move. As the game wore on, the combo played well, generating chances with a relentless forecheck and were rewarded with more ice time.
Also likely to see more ice time will be Defenseman Justin Falk, who replaced Greg Zanon (groin) Saturday. Zanon again didn’t skate today and Falk is expected to see his second game of the season tomorrow against the Ducks.