Wild Adjusting to New Faces, Including Coach

By KBJR News 1

October 18, 2011 Updated Oct 18, 2011 at 6:32 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- The Minnesota Wild spent a lot of training camp adjusting to new faces in the locker room, but the coaching staff is pleased with the team's start.

"It's been as good as we could have hoped for," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said. "You see the players are interacting with each other right now, and you can tell there's closeness with our group."

Mike Yeo is also new to Minnesota, the third head coach in franchise history.

His hockey background, though, includes serving last year as the head coach of Minnesota's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros.

"Last year, with Houston, he took our team to the Calder Cup finals, and then winning a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh, he knows what it takes to win," Minnesota defenseman Nick Schultz said. "He believes in what he's teaching us, and I think we're following suit."

"He grew up in the Pittsburgh organization and came from Montreal," Wild goaltending coach, and former UMD Bulldog, Bob Mason said. "He's got a Montreal background, likes to play defensive hockey and put layers in the defensive zone. I think that will help our goaltenders, not give up as many odd-man rushes or open opportunities."

Yeo caters to the Wild's goal scorers as well, such as Minnesota's captain Mikko Koivu and new acquisition Devin Setoguchi.

"Every coach has something different to bring, and so does Mike," Koivu said. "It always takes a little time, but I think it's been good so far."

"Coach's mentality is that we're going to outwork the other team," Setoguchi said. "That's what he wants, so we're going to be a working team, a north-south team. We're going to play as quick as we can and get on the hunt as quick as we can."

Posted by Zach Schneider