When one or two power-play goals could have changed the complexion of the Wild’s first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks last spring throwing up a series goose egg tends to gnaw at a coach. Mike Yeo is looking for an improvement from the power play this season and he didn’t have to look far for help. In addition to his duties as adviser to the hockey operations department Andrew Brunette also will be the Wild’s new power-play consultant. The former Wild scorer’s dual title is probably too long for the nameplate on his office door. “My business card will be a two-card that won’t fit in anybody’s wallet” Brunette with a laugh. Brunette 40 will continue to scout games conduct projects for General Manager Chuck Fletcher and take side trips to Des Moines where he’ll work with the Wild’s American Hockey League players. But in Minnesota Brunette will help Yeo with the power play including taking the ice to work with the power-play units. “He’s an invaluable resource” Yeo said of Brunette who was on the ice for more power-play goals (216) than any other player in Wild history. “Our power play had the opportunity to be a lot better last year than it was. We were sixth in the league in total power-play shots on goal. That tells you we’re just not doing enough to score goals. “There are things Bruno can help us with to generate more shots to generate more quality shots to teach us different times to take pucks to the net different positions to be in front of the net that only a guy with that kind of experience can teach.” Of Brunette’s 114 career power-play goals 55 came with the Wild. His specialty was net-front presence an area Yeo feels the Wild must improve. During Yeo’s first year as Wild coach the Wild’s power play ranked 27th in the NHL clicking at 15.1 percent. Last season it improved to 16th (17.9 percent) — bizarrely second on the road at 23.5 percent and 28th at home at 13.2 percent. Brunette who retired after 16 NHL seasons in February watched the Wild play from up top last season and doesn’t plan dramatic changes. He plans to meet with Wild players like Mikko Koivu Zach Parise Dany Heatley Ryan Suter and Jason Pominville to kick around ideas. “I’m looking forward to talking to all those guys because you want to put guys into positions where they can be successful and play to their strengths” Brunette said.
Andrew Brunette will oversee Wild power play this season
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Aug 29