WEDNESDAY’S STORY LINE: When to practice? When to rest? Those are questions the Wild coaching staff will have to answer regularly in this shortened season.
“I think the communication is going to be important between coaches and players to get a feel for what is important for that day.” forward Kyle Brodziak said. “Some days rest is going to be important, and some days even though you are tired I think it is important to get out there.”
After back-to-back games to start the season on Saturday and Sunday, the Wild choose to rest their players on Monday.
“I don’ t think we realized it till we actually got Monday off that we needed it that is usually how those things work,” forward Zenon Konopka said.
Minnesota’s next game is Friday at Detroit, and the team will use the next two days to get back to practice. Two straight days to practice is rare in the shortened season, and the Wild need to take advantage of it.
“It is really important,” Brodziak said. “I think that we are going to be playing so much that practice time is going to be valuable. Especially early on right now there are a lot of new guys around here.”
The Wild spent a good portion of Wednesday’s practice working on individual skills and fundamentals. With the strong focus on getting the team game up to speed in the shortened training camp, individual skills and fundamentals were not top priority. The Wild played very strong defensively in their first three games but haven’t executed as well in the offensive zone. Coach Mike Yeo believes working on individual skills will fix that.
“We have won two games in large part because of our defensive play,” he said. “And we gave ourselves a really good chance to win the last game, and we have to make sure that we stay sharp with that, but at the same time we have to start getting better and helping the guys out a little more offensively.”
HE SAID IT: “He looks strong. He looks fast. He has played three very good games in my eyes. His attention to detail without the puck has been really good. With the puck there has been a few opportunities for him, but I think just like anybody else the more they get a chance to get into a rhythm and get playing the more those will come as well.” – Yeo on Devin Setoguchi