Hits. Fights. 72 combined penalty minutes between the two teams.
Physical play was a huge part of Minnesota's 4-3 victory over Edmonton last night. Enforcer Matt Kassian, who was called up yesterday afternoon, had an immediate impact with physical play and two fights. The Wild threw 25 hits at the Oilers and snapped their eight-game losing streak.
Mike Yeo believes playing a physical game leads to success.
"Every player out there plays better when they are engaged in the game physically," noted Yeo.
Being engaged physically can help the team focus on other aspects of the game.
"For us, when I see the battle level up and the physicality part of the game there, then quite often your head is in the game. You are able to focus on the details and more often than not the execution is there," added Yeo.
The Wild were able to execute, scoring four goals for the first time since December 10th at Phoenix.
Yeo feels his team uncharacteristically got away from the physical play in the past few games and was happy to see it back. He realizes not every game is going to be as physical as last night's tilt with the Oilers, but Yeo feels that the compete and battle level "has to be there" for the team to be successful.
The Wild will look to continue their success tomorrow night vs Phoenix. Yeo expects the Coyotes who are in the midst of a 4-game losing streak to be "desperate."
PALMER OUT: Rookie Jarod Palmer, who had his first career NHL goal last night, will miss tomorrow's game vs Phoenix with an upper body injury. Palmer was hurt in the second period when he took a hit along the boards from one of the Oilers.
HE SAID IT: "Just a feeling of we did what we were supposed to do and we got rewarded for it. It's a reminder of how we have to play and what happens if we go out and play that way." Yeo on ending the eight-game losing streak