SEATTLE — The Wild defense won't look the same for the foreseeable future.
Jonas Brodin will be sidelined week-to-week with an upper-body injury suffered Friday in the 4-3 loss at Edmonton.
In their first game without Brodin, the Wild subbed in Alex Goligoski on Sunday in their road trip finale at Seattle and Zach Bogosian suited up after missing four games with an upper-body injury.
"It's not easy losing a guy like Jonas," coach John Hynes said. "Obviously, he's one of the top defensemen in the league. But I think that's what the NHL is. That's why you need to have good depth and play a strong team game, and hopefully he gets better quick.
"You gotta find ways to win with the group that you have."
Brodin was hurt after he was crunched into the boards by the Oilers' Evander Kane during the first minute of the third period, a hit that went unpenalized.
Through the first 25 games of the season, Brodin had a goal and eight assists while teaming up with rookie Brock Faber as the Wild's go-to duo on the blue line.
"One of our most meaningful players," Faber said. "But that means everyone on that 'D' core has to step up, including myself."
Faber worked with Jake Middleton on Sunday, with Goligoski taking Middleton's spot next to captain Jared Spurgeon. Bogosian and Jon Merrill filled out the third pairing.
"I thought Middsy's playing a good skating game," Hynes said. "I think he can handle some of the matchups, gives Fabes a veteran presence on the side. Goligoski, at times from what I understand, has played fairly well with Spurgeon.
"We'll have to do it a little bit by committee."
Brodin's absence and Bogosian's return weren't the only changes to the Wild lineup.
After losing to Vancouver and Edmonton, the team also switched up the top two lines, namely splitting up Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello.
Kaprizov faced the Kraken alongside Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy, while Marcus Johansson joined Marco Rossi and Zuccarello.
As a line, Kaprizov, Rossi and Zuccarello went pointless against the Canucks and Oilers, with Hynes mentioning that Rossi played sick vs. Edmonton.
"Give it a little bit of a different look," Hynes said.
Dakota Mermis is the captain of Iowa, the Wild's minor league affiliate, but he's played more as an NHLer this season than in the American Hockey League.
Before sitting as the team's lone healthy scratch on Sunday, the defenseman had logged 14 games with the Wild compared to just four for Iowa; that's more action than any of Mermis' previous NHL seasons with the Wild, Devils and Coyotes. Mermis, 29, rattled off 13 games while Goligoski healed up a fractured fibula in October and November.
Overall, Mermis has stayed in his Iowa place three or four nights, he said. When he's been in Minnesota for multiple days in a row, his wife Sarah, son Brooks and daughter Taytum have joined him at the hotel.
"I just go into every season at this point not expecting anything, just kind of seeing how it all plays out," said Mermis, who's chipped in two goals and three assists. "It's been a crazy, obviously in a good way, being here from the start, too, just being able to invest in this group was fun to get a stretch right away as opposed to coming up post-Christmas or something like that.
"No expectations, but I'm happy to be here."