The Minnesota Wild went through a tense practice Wednesday in Toronto to prepare for Thursday’s game against the Maple Leafs. Head coach Mike Yeo says there’s a lot of tension among the players because the team’s great start is slipping away.
Frustrated players were easy to see on the ice, according to this report from ESPN. Forward Devin Setoguchi was seen slamming his stick on the ice, breaking it in half. After practice he composed himself and admitted the offense needs its scorers to actually start scoring.
Even with a healthy Mikko Koivu the Wild was struggling to score goals. A shoulder injury has him sidelined for the time being, but he's officially listed as "week-to-week." Koivu is reportedly recovering faster than anticipated, which is good news for Minnesota. It might even mean the NHL won't find a replacement player for him in the All-Star Game.
His replacement for Thursday's game in Toronto is Warren Peters. Yes, you read that correctly. Warren Peters will be centering the Wild's top line. Wild beat writer Michael Russo of the Star Tribune refers to Peters as a "poor man's Koivu."
The Wild was counting on more goals from Dany Heatley when they traded for him last summer. Although his 13 goals leads the team, it’s still far fewer than expected. He’s on pace for the lowest goal total of his career, but head coach Mike Yeo says it’s not all Heatley’s fault.