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Wild hold player-only meeting after yet another road loss

Feb 5, 2013, 8:56 AM EDT

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 04: Martin Hanzal #11 of the Phoenix Coyotes celebrates with teammates after his second period goal against the Minnesota Wild at Arena on February 4, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

Following Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Minnesota Wild held a player-only meeting, according to the Star Tribune.

The details didn’t leave the room, but the message isn’t hard to guess at. The Wild need to do better on the road and, for that matter, they need someone other than the big three of forwards Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, and Dany Heatley to step up.

Having Mikael Granlund and Devin Setoguchi practice on the fourth line didn’t help. The duo has now combined for just one goal through nine contests, but singling them out might be unfair. Beyond the big three, the Wild have netted a total of eight goals in 2013.

Parise scored his sixth goal of the season and 200th of his career, but it wasn’t enough and the Wild are now 0-3-1 on the road this season. If that doesn’t seem troubling given the small sample size, keep in mind that if you extend it back to the 2011-12 campaign, then Minnesota has earned a mere two regulation time wins in its past 31 road contest.

“We have some very positive pieces here, but we need to get some results,” 36-year-old forward Matt Cullen said. “And that was not good enough. A game that we could have won. We have a better [game] here and we’ve got to find it.”

The Wild will return to Minnesota for a pair of home games before they play in Calgary on Feb. 11.

  1. polegojim - Feb 5, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    That’s the challenge of having 100 million dollar Super-Stars… without having established good ‘team’ chemistry.

    Away games are a litmus test of team ‘performance strength’ – take away the emotion of home ice, and you then see what you ‘really have’.

    Teams who don’t win on the road… don’t compete for the Stanley Cup.

    I have a feeling they’ll figure it out though…

  2. lostpuppysyndrome - Feb 5, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    The ZK-Granny-Seto line actually played pretty well. Heatley really looked slow and pathetic out there though. Coyle played great. The game was just fairly uninspired. No plays, no hitting, no intensity (again, other than the 4th line).

    • lordfletcher - Feb 5, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      agreed. The 4th line was great last night and we are starting to see the limitations this teams has. I still think they can get in the playoffs, anywhere from 3-8 (3 only from winning the div. otherwise 5-8 seems more fitting) …. but they have holes that need to be addressed and can’t this year. this club is built well for the future, not spectacular for the 2013 season.

      -slow first line, Heatley needs to be on the second line, he hinders Parise a lot from my viewpoint except when ZP hammers the shot on goal for rebounds.
      -major issues in depth in defense outside of Suter, Brodin (future all-star) and Gilbert…..
      -Cullen / Brodziak others not scoring when given prime opportunites.
      – For the love of …. please insert a right handed shot on the 1st line PP and remove PMB from the point, insert Brodin.

      this team will be fine, just need time, which they could run out of in a shortened season.

      • woodstakes - Feb 5, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        I agree with you lord, Heater is the problem on the 1st line. Team really needs to get Spurgeon back and pair him with Gilbert imo, Brodin fits just fine paired with Suter.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        Well now we get to see what Coyle can do on the 1st line. Should be interesting.

  3. martysbetter - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    A winning team one Zach Parise does not make.

    • axisofweasels - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      how about a zach ‘n suter?

  4. thecheeman - Feb 5, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    So the Wild have their three best scorers on one line and they’re scoring goals, but they have a serious goal deficiency throughout the rest of the lineup, and this arrangement is leading to losses and lackluster efforts. Does Mike Yeo need to ask Zach for permission to break up the top line to get more scoring throughout the lineup, or will Zach just tell him when it’s time.

    I’m just kidding Wild fans don’t freak out.

    The answer is obviously the latter.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Feb 6, 2013 at 1:20 PM

      Dooood bro, you don’t even know, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW. You haters keep runnin yo moufs but the Wild will win the Cup this year, and Granny and Brodin will share the Calder with their combined awesomeness. Tarasenko who? Conacher what? CAN’T HEAR YOU. We here at the Church of Yeo believe in everything he preaches, and will only mean utter annihilation of the rest of the league. Suter’s gonna dominate. DOMINATE. So cram it up your piehole, BROSKI. PEACE OUT.

  5. woodstakes - Feb 5, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    The only thing that needs to change on the #1 line is Heater moving down. I’d like to see Coyle move up and play on the 1st line with Mikko and Zach if for NOTHING else the fact that he could actually skate with them. Heatley looks SOOOOOO SLOOOOOOW!! It would be nice to see a winger that can actually get to the corners/wall and make a play, Heatley seldom gets there and when he does he usually just turns it over. If I remember correctly Heater and Cullen when they were forced to play on the #1 line last year due to injuries had pretty decent chemistry (albeit the Wild didn’t score often last year), perhaps that would be a better combo. I know Heater can score, I just don’t think he fits with the speed and corner/wall play that Parise and Mikko bring.

    I think moving Granlund down and getting him off of center for awhile will be beneficial, allowing him to adjust to North American game and NHL speed/size without having all the defensive responsiblities. In the offseason he really needs to get stronger on his skates, he gets knocked down pretty easily.

    I don’t know what to do with Seto… I just want him to get one and see if that sparks something. I just really feel like bringing up Zucker and putting pressure on Seto to perform maybe helpful. All, I know is he’s got to get it going and FAST!

    • thecheeman - Feb 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      nice call bud

    • thecheeman - Feb 6, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      what’s your twitter handle? call like that deserves a follow.

  6. jganz05 - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Put Clutterbuck up with ZP and Koivu. He’s a workhorse just like those two. The other teams heads would be spinning in their D zone!

    • lordfletcher - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      Clutter isn’t reliable and if it wasn’t for Setoguchi not putting up numbers, Clutters days would be numbered in MN…

      I still think Clutterbuck has better trade value than his overall worth to the team. Great locker room guy and can score goals well for a 3rd liner, but isn’t responsible with the puck enough and lets in just as many as he creates… now factor in the fact he will want to get PAID…. meh, call up Bulmer or any other dime a dozen 3rd/4th line guys.

      this league is 100% winnable with a top 6 and top 4 +1 solid starting goalie… everything else is just fumes (IMO)

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