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Yeo argues Wild need to be more physical with rookie MacKinnon

Apr 18, 2014, 7:43 PM EDT

Nathan MacKinnon AP

Rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon didn’t wilt under the pressure of making his postseason debut. The 18-year-old forward had three assists to help Colorado earn a 5-4 overtime win over Minnesota on Thursday.

His efforts didn’t go unnoticed by Wild coach Mike Yeo, who wants to see his team make an adjustment when playing against MacKinnon in Game 2 on Saturday.

“We didn’t make things hard enough on (MacKinnon) physically last night,” Yeo said, per the team’s Twitter account.

Minnesota had a 4-2 lead going into the third period, but the silver lining for them is that splitting the first two games would put them in a great position, given that the series opened in Colorado.

The Avalanche went from the Western Conference basement to the Central Division title in the span of just one season and vastly exceeded almost everyone’s preseason expectations in the process. This campaign will be seen as a success for them no matter what happens next, but they would certainly like to cement their rise by going on a lengthy playoff run.

  1. joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    NHL coaches should be reading my comments. :-)

    joey4id – Apr 15, 2014 at 10:38 AM
    Everyone will bring their game up a few more notches and finishing checks is part of the DNA of any system in the playoffs. You don’t take runs at MacKinnon because he’s a rookie, but you hit him every chance you get and add a little more force than you would normally. You want to test his resolve, and hope it’s going to throw him off his game.

    Joey knows hockey. Lol!

    • 19to77 - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      Oh, shut up, you vapid tool.

      • joey4id - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:07 PM

        hahahaha! Don’t you hate how much I’m right. I’m the Don Cherry of PHT. LOL! C ya!

    • avfanforlife - Apr 19, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Joey knows nada. Go ahead Wild, focus as much as you can on #29. Av’s have too much depth and while the Wild are busy chasing after Nate, any # of players will be hitting the back of the net. Taking extra shots at McKinnon is like poking a bear… An incredibly fast, talented, and ridiculously tough bear. So by all means, have at it. Get your brooms out Minn…

      • lordfletcher - Apr 19, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        Avfan

        Well focusing on a skater that was the difference maker seems to be a good strategy going forward. Keep drinking the koolaid.. Long series. Tough to win them in one game. Dur

      • joey4id - Apr 19, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        Exactly! I didn’t say it would work. I wrote; “You want to test his resolve, and hope it’s going to throw him off his game.”

        avfanforlife knows hockey. maybe….

        Stay thirsty, my friend! Cerveza Balboa! Sólo para hombres. ;-)

  2. govtminion - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    It can’t hurt to try hitting him more, of course. But… I don’t get to watch the Avs as much as I’d like, from out here on the east coast, but I haven’t seen much that suggests that he’s going to be easily rattled by much. Hit him if you think it will help- and it might- but have other plans just in case, because he may not care- it might even fire him up.

    • petermanpeter - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:06 PM

      yeah, it probably will fire him up. I wish Yeo and his unfortunate Wild players good luck with that strategy.

  3. mackattack29 - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    It’s hard to even hit him. He’s so freaking fast.

    • smangold4 - Apr 19, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      And even if you do hit him, he’ll get pop up and hit you right back.

  4. rgledz - Apr 19, 2014 at 12:33 AM

    How will he get pop up……..and who is pop?

  5. lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 19, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    Duh, ya think? Fricken Scandella. Brodin was out of position on 2 of their goals too. And Brodziak needs to stop pickin his boogers and play better defensively.

    • clarke16 - Apr 19, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      Brodin really isn’t good enough to anchor his own pairing. He belongs back with Suter–who helps cover some of Brodin’s mistakes/inexperience…

      Through trade this summer–this team really needs to turn Koivu into a solid top 4 right-handed point man…

      Finally–this team needs to adopt the Pominville/Parise approach to shooting the puck. This dinking around trying to make the highlight reel pass when you’re right there with the puck on your stick in gun alley needs to stop. Pretty goals don’t count on the board any more than any other one.

  6. avsman9 - Apr 19, 2014 at 3:02 AM

    Yes Joey4id…HOPE it’s going to throw him off…

  7. avsman9 - Apr 19, 2014 at 3:03 AM

    Yes joey4id…HOPE it throws him off

  8. clarke16 - Apr 19, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    The whole Wild team will come out more physical tonight…and much needed. It was embarrassing watching Johnson pound on the back of Parise’s head with nothing in the way of a response–and it isn’t always dropping the gloves that makes the most sense. Sometimes a well-timed/placed two-hander across the outside of the ankle is the best strategy–but Matty-boy better be a marked man after the film review. The Wild will lose this series if their version of playoff hockey is to make your $99M man–their biitch for all to see… The old-schoolers (and there are still plenty of them around) make sure Marcia finished this game on the trainers table.

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