Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 11/20/11
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild are off to a terrific start under first-year head coach Mike Yeo. After a 3-2 shootout win against the Blues on Saturday night, the Wild are now 12-5-3 for 27 points, and those 27 points have the Wild in first place in the Northwest Division and seven points clear of second-place Edmonton. Yeo was asked after Saturdays morning skate if his team has arrived yet. "No we are not there yet; most NHL coaches right now will probably say the same thing," he said. "I'm very happy with our place in the standings right now, but we know that we need to continue to improve every single day. This process will last through March and April. The bottom line is our guys are buying into to this idea and they are working hard, which certainly is a good sign." The Wild are 9-2 in their last 11 games, and what makes that even more impressive is the fact that they have done it despite the losses of key players. Apple Valley native Mike Lundin was brought in during the offseason to add leadership and experience to the blue line, but he has yet to play due to a back injury. Greg Zanon has been out for 12 games with a groin issue, and Guillaume Latendresse, Marco Scandella and Marek Zidlicky are all out with concussions suffered on the latest road trip. The most amazing stat from the latest 11-game run is that the Wild have given up a league-high 375 shots on goal during that span. Heading into Saturday night, the team goals-against average was 1.50 and the team save percentage was a stellar .957, both tops in the NHL. "We have certainly been getting outstanding goaltending, but part of those stats are about the type of shots we are giving up, Yeo said. Our guys have been doing a good job of keeping shots to the outside, which makes life a lot easier for our goalies." The Wild have four more games on the current home stand, and Scandella practiced Saturday morning and looked rock-solid throughout the 60-minute workout. "Marco said he feels much better, and seeing him out there today you can tell he is really champing at the bit, Yeo said. There is no timetable established yet, but he is getting close to coming back."
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