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Wild drop struggling Setoguchi, Granlund to fourth line

Feb 4, 2013, 9:41 AM EDT

Mikael Granlund #64 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on February 1, 2013 in Anaheim, California.
(January 31, 2013 - Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Forwards Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, and Dany Heatley have been doing their part for the Minnesota Wild this season, but the team needs secondary scoring if they are going to make the playoffs.

Going into the season, the hope was that 20-year-old rookie Mikael Granlund and Devin Setoguchi would be among the team’s top complimentary forwards, but through eight games that hasn’t been the case.

Granlund hasn’t scored since the season opener and has just three points in eight games while Setoguchi is still searching for his first goal of the season.

As a result, Wild coach Mike Yeo decided to move them both to the fourth line for Sunday’s practice and it’s even possible that one of them will end up being scratched against Phoenix on Monday, based on a Star Tribune report.

In Granlund’s case, it’s hard to put too much pressure on the rookie, even if he has tons of upside, but Yeo argues that there needs to be a bit more give and take.

“He’s a young kid and we have to give him a fair chance, but at the same time, there has to be a little more on his side,” Yeo said.

“We’ll do everything we can to help him grow through the whole process of it. I’d definitely like to see him bring a real hungry attitude to the next game.”

As for Setoguchi, he admitted to being disappointed and plans to work his way back into the lineup if he ends up getting scratched. His early struggles have been made even more troubling by the fact that he’s only managed 10 shots on goal. That’s far below his career average.

Minnesota has a 4-3-1 record, which puts them in a four-way tie for sixth place in this early stage of the season.

  1. 19to77 - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Breaking news – Devin Setoguchi still a third-liner who had one really good season on the Thornton line three years ago. Seriously, he scored 30 goals once and in three years since his peak was 41 points. If people think he’s top six, it’s because they’re not very knowledgeable.

    • nogoodtomedead - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Agreed- as a Sharks fan I wasn’t too upset to see him go in the Burns trade. Was more bummed about losing Coyle.

      • lordfletcher - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        and as a Wild fan I couldn’t agree more. The trade was 100% about Coyle and the additional 1st pick. Setoguchi was a nice add because we needs guys who are willing to shoot the puck (we have been pass happy for 12 years) but Seto is a let down to this point in his career with the Wild. I think he is a great 3rd line player but is making too much $$$. I think he will be getting traded for peanuts and hockey pucks very soon… as for Granlund, he needs to add size and just needs time to adjust to the North American game. He will be a stud in two years … he comes Coyle and soon to be Zucker on the Wild. Let’s go beat the NHL Coyotes

    • hockeydon10 - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Huh… interesting. Not being a Sharks fan, I’ve always seen him spoken about in the press as a good 2nd line player.

      That bit about being paired with Thornton kinda reminds me of many of Lidstrom’s defensive partners. Many of them had career years in Detroit then move on to greener pa$tures only to have their new team find out it was really a Lidstrom effect. I guess sometimes great players really can elevate 3rd liners (or 5-6 d-men) to hot commodity. Looks like Setoguchi benefitted from a Thornton effect.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        Yeah, just think of how many folks jumped on the Cheechoo train after the Sharks got Joe. We all know where that went.

      • 19to77 - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:33 AM

        Hey, even Marleau, a legitimate first-line talent any day of the week, went from scoring in the 50s pre-Thornton to a 70-80 point man on his line.

        It’s no wonder. Jumbo’s still one of the best playmakers in the game today. Probably THE best, when you consider that Henrik Sedin only racks up those points by playing with his literal twin.

  2. nvandy42 - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I was a big fan of having Coyle brought up instead of Zucker. The Wild needed his size in front of the net and along the boards, and I don’t see him being sent back down. I did, however, think that this also would have been a great addition for Granlund. Granlund had a lot of success with Coyle on his wing at the start of the AHL season and I think his size was exactly what that line needed. I know it would be rough to have 2 rookies on the same line, but these 2 are part of the future for the franchise and could be playing together a lot over the next 5+ years, if Coyle doesn’t eventually take Heatley’s spot on the top line. I’m not a big Seto advocate so I’d like to see him traded and make some room for our prospects. But I would like to see them get back to Granlund centering the second line. He needs to learn the game and the best way to do that is let him play. Cullen is solid, but I’d rather see Granlund, even if it’s not the best win today decision, it will help a lot in the near future.

    • spiciercheez - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      I agree 100%. The line of Cullen, Granlund and Seto just had zero presence on the wall and always lost those battles. I’d like to see how Granlund does with Coyle, so hopefully that’ll happen eventually.

  3. digbysellers - Feb 4, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Setoguchi is the new Cheechoo…it’s pretty obvious.

  4. woodstakes - Feb 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    I agree with what many of you have said… Seto has been a real disappointment, I too would like to see Granlund/Coyle on the same line, but that may not happen right away. As much as I’d like to see Seto get traded and bring Zucker up, I just don’t see anyone trading for Seto. I guess I’d just rather Zucker get a chance to adapt to the NHL and make progress than sit here and watch Seto just regress or remain stalemated as he is right now.

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