Wednesday was a double-edged sword kind of day for Mike Yeo.
The Minnesota head coach decided to split up his top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley — a move designed to balance out his forward units, but a potentially dangerous one given, you know, that line is the only one producing.
Rookie Charlie Coyle has been promoted to play right wing alongside Parise and Koivu while Heatley has been dropped to the second line with center Matt Cullen and left wing Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
“I think he’ll fit in really well with us,” Parise said of Coyle. “And you get Butch with Heatley, he should be a good setup man for Heater.”
Heatley has been the weak link of the top line for the last few contests — one goal and eight shots in his last six games — so it’s not surprising Yeo decided to move him. Parise’s been on fire (6G-4A-10PTS) and Koivu’s nearly a point-a-game player (2G-6A-8PTS), meaning they’ll stay put.
Heatley said he’s not worried about the “demotion” and is looking forward to playing with Cullen and Bouchard.
“I don’t feel like I’m fighting it,” he explained. “I’m playing with two real creative guys, so hopefully we can get something done.”
However this shakes out, it’s clear Yeo needs to do something to get some production outside of his big three.
The Wild’s fourth- and fifth-leading scorers are defensemen (Tom Gilbert, Ryan Suter) while Cullen, Mikael Granlund, Cal Clutterbuck, Devin Setoguchi and Torrey Mitchell have combined to score just three goals thus far.