After being a healthy scratch against his former team on Tuesday, Minnesota Wild
forward Devin Setoguchi
will go right back into his spot at left wing of the top line on Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks
Wild coach Mike Yeo
decided to sit Setoguchi against the San Jose Sharks
in Minnesota's previous game for what's been reported as the former Shark missing a team meeting. That meant he had to watch his new team beat his old team in street clothes at Xcel Energy Center, rather than contributing on the ice.
Setoguchi has 8 goals and 6 assists in 30 games, but also has a minus-7 rating after being dealt to Minnesota by San Jose last summer. He scored 22, 20 and 31 goals in his previous three seasons for the Sharks, but thus far isn't playing up to that kind of production for the Wild.
Yeo, however, expects Setoguchi to give an inspired effort against the Hawks on Thursday night.
"I think he's going to play hard tonight," Yeo said after Minnesota's morning skate at the United Center. "I always like accountability and I always like, even more than that, if you mess up then you come right back and respond. That's what we've done as a team many times this year and he's been a part of that, and I would expect him to do the same tonight."
The Wild are also counting on another solid performance from goalie Josh Harding
, who will get the start with Niklas Backstrom
still too sick to play. Matt Hackett
will be Harding's backup, as the Wild try to duplicate the effort they gave against the Sharks without Setoguchi on the left side of captain Mikko Koivu
Despite struggling to score goals this season, the Wild managed to beat San Jose starter Antti Niemi
four times in regulation and twice in the shootout.
"Last game was a game that we have to try and go out and build off of," Yeo said. "We scored four goals against a team last game that doesn't give up a lot of goals. That doesn't mean we're just going to go out and do that at will now, but if we put in what we did last game we'll give ourselves a good chance."
That doesn't necessarily mean setting up the perfect pass for great scoring chances, either. It means swarming the net, being physical and trying to get the puck past Chicago goalie Ray Emery
any way possible.
"We have to keep that type of mentality," Yeo said. "We don't score a ton of pretty goals, but that doesn't mean we can't score goals. We just have to do it the hard way."
Here's what the lineups for Minnesota and Chicago might look like on Thursday night:
- Mikko Koivu
- Dany Heatley
- Matt Cullen
- Casey Wellman
Darrell Powe - Kyle Brodziak
- Nick Johnson
- Warren Peters
- Brad Staubitz
- Jared Spurgeon
- Justin Falk
- Greg Zanon
- Jonathan Toews
- Patrick Kane
- Dave Bolland
- Marian Hossa
- Jamal Mayers
- Ben Smith
- Andrew Shaw
- Michael Frolik
- Brent Seabrook
- Niklas Hjalmarsson
- Steve Montador