FRIDAY’S STORY LINE: With defenseman Jared Spurgeon out of the lineup Friday night with a lower-body injury, 19-year-old defenseman Jonas Brodin will make his much-anticipated NHL debut in Detroit.
The rookie defenseman is one of Minnesota’s top defensive prospects after being a first-round pick in 2011.
“I am excited,” he said Friday. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to play with these guys. I’m just happy to go out there and play. I am nervous before every game. That is a good thing to be nervous before every game.”
Brodin will be paired with Clayton Stoner on the blue line, and Brodin said Stoner told go him out and play the game the way he always does.
Brodin, who missed 11 weeks in Houston with a broken clavicle, will also replace Spurgeon on the second power play unit. Coach Mike Yeo says Brodin has the skills to be successful in that role.
“We are expecting him to get a chance out there for sure,” Yeo said. “We ideally would like to ease him into it a little bit. A guy like Ryan (Suter) can take a good chunk of the two-minute power play, but obviously we don’t want him going out tired. At the same time, we do have confidence Brods can go out and do the job. He looks very comfortable out there in practice.”
HE SAID IT : “With some of the skill that we have, we should be able to generate shots, and we did a really good job of executing last game and going north and getting into the offensive zone. But we weren’t particularly good in the offensive zone. That was kind of our biggest weakness — the plays that we were forcing not having a third man, not having a middle presence in the slot. Some of these things prohibited us from getting a little bit more, but overall there are still some good things. We generated 15 scoring chances in the game, and most of those were 5-on-5. . . . We’ve just got to finish better.” — Yeo on the Wild offense