Twelve hours after a post-midnight return to the Twin Cities, Wild coach Mike Yeo sent his players onto the ice for an intense and focused 45-minute practice Wednesday, March 6, at St. Thomas Ice Arena.

When it was over, a weary-looking bunch trickled one by one into the locker rooms.

Asked what he had hoped to see Wednesday in the aftermath of a humbling 5-3 road loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, Yeo said, "We saw it. The guys battled, and the guys worked."

And they needed no prodding; Yeo said the veterans stepped up to set the tone from the beginning of the workout.

Practice has become a bit of a luxury for the Wild -- it was the team's first practice other than a game-day morning skate in seven days -- so players not only needed a session, they seemed ready for one.

The heavy-duty workout seemed to help restore a little positivity and erase the glum feelings from the night before, when the Blackhawks nabbed their franchise-record 10th win in a row and remained undefeated in regulation through 23 games.

Yeo labeled the loss to the Hawks "an off game" but noted that the players were eager to respond. After five games in eight days, Yeo and his staff finally were able to set up game situations and run players through them rapidly and repeatedly.