Wizards

Wild-Coyotes Preview

Wild-Coyotes Preview

Now that the Minnesota Wild's top line has failed to produce over consecutive games, the lack of production from players such as Kyle Brodziak looks more like a glaring weakness.

Brodziak hopes to get untracked when the Wild seek their first road victory Monday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

The top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley has combined for 23 points for Minnesota (4-3-1), but that unit hasn't produced any in its last two games.

"There's a few guys that we want to get going for sure," coach Mike Yeo said. "The top line is, they're one of the top lines in the league, although the last couple games haven't been good so we have to look at that, why is that?"

Yeo has shifted Brodziak around in different spots this season. Brodziak has one assist in eight games after tying for second on the team with 44 points a season ago.

"Brodzy's line is so important to us, not necessarily from even an offensive standpoint," Yeo said. "How do we help them get to their game, how do we help them get some more offensive zone time?"

Brodziak scored three goals in two victories at Phoenix (3-4-2) last season as the visiting team won all four 2011-12 matchups.

The Wild are 0-2-1 on the road as they get ready to face a Coyotes team that has posted shutouts in two of its last three home games.

Mike Smith made 17 saves for his first victory of the season Saturday, 2-0 over Dallas.

"He looked like Smitty out there,'' coach Dave Tippett said. "It's the first game I'd say he looked confident all year.''

This could be an emotional game for Nick Johnson, who has three goals and one assist for the Coyotes. The winger had 26 points for the Wild a season ago as a rookie before Minnesota decided not to offer him a contract.

Johnson's new team is impressed with his play.

"Nick Johnson has been a real pleasant surprise for us, he's really played well," Tippett said. "Not just because he's scored some points, he's a sound positional player, does a lot of things right in the games that coaches probably notice more than fans notice."

Phoenix winger Raffi Torres made his season debut Saturday after his 21-game suspension expired for a hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa in last year's playoffs. He was cheered by Coyotes fans upon his return.

"These fans are great," Torres said. "They've been supporting me throughout this whole ordeal so it's nice to feel welcomed and get back at it."

Phoenix has gained points in four straight games after a 1-4-0 start. The Coyotes outshot the Stars 34-17 on Saturday.

"We felt we've played solid for stretches of games, we just haven't finished a full 60 minutes,'' captain Shane Doan said.

Wild No. 1 goalie Niklas Backstrom won his first eight career starts against the Coyotes before going 3-8-0 with a 2.85 goals-against average in his past 11.

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Wizards' third pre-draft workout to feature local stars including GW's Yuta Watanabe

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USA Today Sports Images

Wizards' third pre-draft workout to feature local stars including GW's Yuta Watanabe

The Wizards will hold their third pre-draft workout on Thursday at Capital One Arena, this time featuring four local standouts out of the six players attending. Highlighting that group is Yuta Watanabe of George Washington, the Atlantic-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

Here is the full list with notes on each player...

Phillip Carr, F, Morgan State (6-9, 205)

Carr averaged 13.7 points and 9.3 rebounds this past season at Morgan State in Maryland. He shot 84.6 percent from the free throw line, excellent for a big man.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

James Daniel III, G, Tennessee (6-0, 172)

Originally from Hampton, Va., Daniel III played four years at Howard University in D.C. before transferring to Tennessee as a redshirt senior. He was the MEAC Player of the Year in his last healthy season at Howard. Daniel III averaged 5.6 points in 35 games for the Volunteers.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Marcus Derrickson, F, Georgetown (6-7, 250)

Derrickson hails from nearby Bowie, Md. He played three years with the Hoyas and averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and shot 46.5 percent from three this past season. 

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Junior Etou, F, Tulsa (6-8, 235)

Originally from the Republic of Congo, Etou went to high school at Bishop O'Connell in Arlington, Va. He is Serge Ibaka's cousin and didn't start playing basketball until he was 15. Etou averaged 15.0 points and 7.9 rebounds this past season.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Junior Robinson, G, Mount St. Mary's (5-5, 150)

The Northeast Conference Player of the Year, Robinson averaged 22.0 points and 4.8 assists this past season. He was a four-year starter at Mount St. Mary's.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent

Yuta Watanabe, F, George Washington (6-9, 205)

One of the best basketball players to ever come from Japan, Watanabe was a defensive standout for the Colonials who developed into a solid scorer by his senior year. This past season, he averaged 16.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He is known in Japan as 'The Chosen One' and both of his parents played basketball professionally. NBC Sports Washington first reported he would work out with the Wizards this week.

Potential fit with Wizards: candidate for summer league or G-League team as undrafted free agent; best chance for NBA is as defensive specialist

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Tom Wilson is single-handedly trying to fight every player on the Lightning in Game 7

Tom Wilson is single-handedly trying to fight every player on the Lightning in Game 7

TOM WILSON IS ALL JACKED UP ON MOUNTAIN DEW. 

17 minutes into Game 7 and Tom Wilson is already out here doing Tom Wilson things. 

First, there were these shenanigans:

Pretty standard stuff. Some anger words, some glove pulling. Nothing special. Then, friends - then it gets real:

Let this marinate a little bit. Wilson got a minor for fighting, served his time, and then IMMEDIATELY came out of the box and did literally the exact same thing. 

He punched a guys helmet off. Those helmets have straps to stay on for this exact reason, and it didn't matter. If this was medieval jousting, Braydon Coburn would be declared the loser on the spot. 

Get you a friend like Tom Wilson. 

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