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Wild could get offensive boost with return of Granlund

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The Wild's offense has labored ever since forward Mikael Granlund went down with injuries midway through November.

Minnesota is 5-6-1 without Granlund, and they are averaging just 1.5 goals per game during that stretch, according to the Star Tribune.

Granlund has missed nine straight games and 11 of the last 12. A dirty hit by Toronto's Nazem Kadri forced Granlund to miss two games, and he missed the next nine after a hit to the head in a game against Phoenix caused a concussion just a few days later.

Wild coach Mike Yeo says a smaller player like Granlund needs to do a better job to protect himself on the ice.

"I think he has done a great job of going to the middle of the ice and creating a lot more offense because of that," Yeo said, via the Pioneer Press. "We have to make sure we're helping him in many areas and many ways as far as how he can protect himself, but at the same time, you have to make sure you bring that competitive edge, too."

Granlund wants to play Tuesday when the Wild plays host to the red-hot Vancouver Canucks, winners of seven in a row.

“This is my first skate with the team now. That’s a start. We just have to keep building," Granlund told Wild TV.

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