SATURDAY’S STORY LINE: Forward Matt Cullen, who left Friday’s game in Anaheim after taking an awkward hit into the boards from Anaheim forward Kyle Palmieri, did not skate with the team Saturday in Arizona. Coach Mike Yeo said Cullen is “sore still today so we left him off, but it’s nothing serious.”
Yeo said he expects Cullen back on the ice when the team practices Sunday afternoon.
With Cullen out, there were not a lot of options to mix up lines in practice. However, Yeo said changing things up is something the team is strongly considering after Friday’s 3-1 loss. Even the top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley has cooled off, generating zero points in the past two games. That group didn’t generate any shots Friday night until 4:14 of the third period.
“We spent a great deal of time talking about it last night and even this morning,” Yeo said. “So there are some things we have to think about there from top to bottom as far as what we need, what the right mix is and how we can be at our best.”
INJURY UPDATE: Defenseman Jared Spurgeon (lower body) skated on his own Saturday. He isn’t likely to be ready for Monday’s game.
HE SAID IT: “I had a chance to take a deep breath after the game and that was our fourth game in six nights. Before that, we had five points in three games coming into that. I am not going to sit here and say it is OK because I thought we had some below our standard effort last night, and that is unacceptable. It is one thing if you sometimes have a bad game and sometimes the puck doesn’t bounce your way, but you can never have below-average effort. That is something we have to improve on. We can’t accept that ever, but having said that before last night a lot of people would have said things are going pretty good. We have to take a deep breath and make sure that we are analyzing this all correctly and not just doing it off emotion.” – Yeo on Friday night’s loss