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Wild Refinds Trust In Game In Big Bounceback Win

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said he doesn't like to use the word patience when describing the Wild's stick-to-itiveness.

"But what I think it is, is trust, and puck management," Yeo said after the Wild practiced on Wednesday hours after returning home from a 2-1 road win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Yeo had said in the Wild got away from its game recently, which Yeo went on to elaborate was a puck possession style anchored by making plays and smart decisions.

"It's sort of a trust and understanding of that mentality, and bringing that to the game," Yeo said.

It's what he saw from the Wild on Tuesday in that win against Chicago, a welcome sign for a Minnesota team that played more to its identity, with a decidedly defensive feel.

"It definitely starts in our own end, and being tight defensively," Charlie Coyle said. "From there, some teams get kind of discouraged, and we keep them to the outside, and then we'll catch them."

The Wild's defensive game though is unique to the Wild, and where Yeo thought the word patient wasn't a strong fit.

"Patient to me, I think of us sitting back, and I don't want to be a sit-back team," Yeo said. "I want to be aggressive, and get after them.

"We can defend that way, we can be a pressure team and still keep our structure."

It's what Coyle said after practice on Wednesday and what so many players said after the victory against Chicago was back in the Wild's play after being absent during the three-game losing streak it snapped at United Center.

"You're not always going to come out and get the first goal, and things aren't always going to go your way right off the bat, but you have to work for it," Coyle said. "Eventually that work will pay off."


After leaving the ice and filing into the Wild's locker room following practice on Wednesday, it was a bit of musical chairs for 22-year-old Mike Reilly.

During preseason, his locker room stall was on the far end of the room. It's where it was this morning when Reillly arrived from De Moines, but it had since been moved, as he did a lap around the room before arriving at his new location.

"But it's fun to be here," Reilly said with a grin. 

He was recalled on Wednesday, and the Wild reassigned Christian Folin to Iowa. With Reilly playing his first year of professional hockey, the defensive prospect is still learning the intricacies of the pro game, a big factor in his call-up.

"No plan except to get him here, and get him working with our group," Yeo said. "He's obviously a guy that we'd like to get around as much as possible."

Reilly said he got the call last night. His curiosity was peaked when he saw a Minnesota area code pop up.

"Once I picked it up, it was very relieving, and very exciting to realize I was coming up here," Reilly said. "It's a day-to-day process, but to get that call was awesome."

Yeo said he does not know if Reilly will get into a game, but that he has plenty to gain by being around the team no matter what, and Reilly echoed a similar message.

"They want to win, and I just have to be ready if my number is called," Reilly said. "I don't know for sure if I'll be in, but I just have to prepare every day like I'm going to be in the lineup."

With Iowa also struggling, Yeo said the recall would give Reilly a chance to mentally refocus.

"It's a great chance for that, for him to just hit the reset button," Yeo said.

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