Sometimes a change can do some good.
That’s what the Minnesota Wild is hoping for tonight as the club closes out a four-game road trip against the Florida Panthers.
Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo shook things up at the team’s morning skate at BB&T Center. Jason Pominville was back on the top line, skating along side Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise. The unit has found some chemistry on the power play and hopes it will carry over into even strength play. Yeo said after that he hoped moving Pominville would diversify the team’s scoring, but it hasn’t happened so they’ll be reunited.
A guy who knows a thing or two about scoring goals is Parise, and he knows all teams can go through an offensive slump. Sometimes it can wear on a team’s psyche, but he want the team to remain aggressive and continue shooting, because eventually pucks will start to go in. Parise talked with WildTV after the morning skate and that video will be posted shortly.
Yeo joked after practice that he wasn’t sure which units would get the classification as “second” and “third” lines. Regardless, Mikael Granlund was centering Matt Cooke and Nino Niederreiter. Yeo thinks the ability of Niederreiter and Cooke to control play along the boards and being strong on the puck will bode well with Granlund’s playmaking ability. However, Yeo said that he’d like Granlund to be a little more selfish in looking for his own shot instead of thinking pass.
WildTV caught up with Cooke about playing with his new linemates, and how he needs to continue to play his style of game, regardless of who he is lined up with.
Kyle Brodziak will center Dany Heatley and Justin Fontaine. Brodziak and Heatley have played well together when paired over the past two seasons, and hope their chemistry can reignite tonight.
The team’s fourth line of Zenon Konopka, Torrey Mitchell and Stephan Veilleux will remain intact.
The blue line will remain unchanged from Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Keith Ballard is still not feeling 100 percent after suffering an upper body injury on Monday against Buffalo.
Goaltender Josh Harding will get his second-straight start in net. The goalkeeper has played some of the best hockey of his career, leading the League in goals-against average while saving .946 percent of the shots he’s faced.
No updates on forward Charlie Coyle, who is back in Minnesota with a sprained knee.