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Yeo Thinks Granlund Line Is Close Offensively

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Sometimes, it just takes one bounce or seeing one puck go in to get a player or a line going.

Head Coach Mike Yeo said that's his feeling when it comes to Mikael Granlund's line, which is responsible for three even-strength goals this season, scored in Minnesota's first three games.

"I know that they're not far off," Yeo said. "It's one or two plays connecting for them that it's amazing how quickly the confidence can turn."

Parise scored twice in the season opener against the Colorado Avalanche, assisted by Granlund on the first, and by Jason Pominville on both goals.

Granlund scored in game number three against the Arizona Coyotes, with Parise and Pominville each assisting. 

There have been opportunities for the line in games since, but it has been unable to convert.

"They've been generating scoring chances, and the big thing is letting your play decide if you should be confident or not," Yeo said. "As opposed to waiting for a result, waiting for a goal, waiting for something to click to start feeling good, there are things that are happening in every game that if you're able to focus on those things, that will allow you to build the confidence."

Parise has continued scoring, with four power-play goals, and an even-strength goal scored on a long shift away from Granlund and Pominville.

In his past few games, Pominville has come very close to getting his first goal of the season. He hit the crossbar against the Blackhawks, and had a pass from Parise hop over his stick on the doorstep.

Against the Blues, he found the puck all alone in front but was robbed by a sprawling Jake Allen.

"The next couple of games are probably more speed-based games, so I'm anxious to see how [Granlund's] line looks in those types of games," Yeo said. "Quite often they play very well in those types of games."

Injury Updates

Forward Tyler Graovac underwent successful bilateral core muscle repair surgery on Tuesday, and is expected to miss six weeks. Forward Justin Fontaine, who was injured Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks, has a sprained MCL, and is expected to miss four-to-six weeks.

"Knock on wood, luckily we're pretty healthy everywhere else, but obviously those are a couple of big injuries," Yeo said.

The Wild recalled Jordan Schroeder from Iowa, and Schroeder played against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. It was Schroeder's second game played this season; he also played against the Blues in Minnesota's home opener.

Schroeder skated 9:45 in his most recent appearance, with one shot on goal and one blocked shot. He will continue to skate on a line with Charlie Coyle and Thomas Vanek, a spot previously occupied by Graovac, and then Fontaine.

"We're going to need somebody to step up, and what we can say is given what he did last year, certainly that's part of why he's earned the opportunity to be here right now," Yeo said of Schroeder.

With Graovac out, it thins the depth and the options the Wild has at center.

"[Graovac] came in, he did a real good job out of training camp, and obviously that throws a wrinkle there," Yeo said. "And [Fontaine], I thought that line with him, Thomas, and Charlie, that was really starting to come along. They were creating a lot of offense for us, and producing on a nightly basis pretty much.

"Injuries are part of the game, and we're going to have to adjust and work around it."

Sydor Returns To Wild

Assistant Coach Darryl Sydor was back on the ice with the Minnesota Wild at practice on Tuesday. 

Yeo said Sydor rejoined the team on Monday when it held an off-ice workout, and his participation Tuesday was part of easing him back in.

"We're confident that he's ready for this given the steps that he's taken, the work that he's put in, and the things that he's done to try to get himself ready for this," Yeo said.

Sydor expressed his gratitude for the help he's received.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity and I'm thankful for all the support the Minnesota Wild management, coaching staff, and the players have shown me through this time," Sydor said. "Obviously the support of my family and friends, I'm very thankful for that, and thankful for being in a place of recovery, and being able to come back and be strong in it."

Stadium Series Ticket Info

Tickets for the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series between the Wild and Blackhawks are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased here.

Movember Begins

With the calendar turning into November it means it's time to grow a mustache.

The Movember Foundation hosts a month-long fundraiser every year to support men's health. The Minnesota Wild and Jack Link’s® Protein Snacks are teaming up to help raise money for men's health with the month-long mustache growing campaign.

It includes a contest between two teams, co-captained by Ryan Carter and Matt Dumba. For updates on Carter's mustache, follow @CartersStache on Twitter.

More information regarding the Wild's Movember efforts, including prizes that fans can win through fundraising, can be found here.

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