After two excellent debut seasons with the Minnesota Wild, defenseman Jonas Brodin is struggling. To fix that, Wild coach Mike Yeo is putting him back with an old partner who isn't thrilled about the reunion.
When Brodin broke into the league in 2012, he found immediate success playing alongside Wild star defenseman Ryan Suter. The pair hasn't played as much together this season, but Yeo reunited them recently to give Brodin a boost.
Suter made it clear on Monday he doesn't appreciate it.
"Yeah, I don't know what they're thinking," said Suter. "I need to play with a right-handed defenseman. To give me more options. Neutral zone. Offensively. And even coming out of the D zone, it's not fair to put a guy on his off side."
On one hand, you can kind of understand where he's coming from. Most defensemen prefer playing with defensemen of the opposite handedness. It makes everything simpler. Suter has played the most with Jared Spurgeon this year and has a robust 53.2 Corsi For percentage with him. He's a legitimate Norris Trophy contender.
Basically Suter is saying playing with a righty gives him more options, gives the third pair a lefty-righty. It's no swipe at Brodin #mnwild— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) November 30, 2015
On the other hand, Brodin has struggled mightily without the elite defenseman. With Suter, Brodin has posted a 50.7 CF%. Without him, that percentage drops to 45.0. And Yeo needs to do something on the blue line, since the Wild are 20th in the league with 2.77 goals against per game after dropping six of their last seven contests.
"It does no good to pout and get pissed off at each other," said Suter. "You've got to come together and dig out of this. Now's when you need leadership more than ever. It's easy to be a coach and a leader when things are going good."
Right now the Wild are fifth in the Central Division and clinging to the Western Conference's final Wild Card spot by one point over the Vancouver Canucks.