The Minnesota Wild has had a very interesting year. This is a team that opened the season by setting franchise records and raised expectations that they would go further than the playoffs.
But on the other hand this is the same team that can’t score goals and has been off their game as of late and was pushed around Monday night during their eighth road loss in the past nine attempts.
So what does Coach Mike Yeo think about this?
“And this is the same group that’s going to get us out of it.”
The Wild’s final game before the NHL holiday break was a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers so it wasn’t total holiday cheer around the squad.
The record-setting pace Minnesota was on ended November 25th, the Wild are now 5-9-1 and have been outscored 39-22. They’ve managed just seven goals in their past nine games and 22 goals in the past 15.
Yeo was defiant after the game. “I’m not going to paint a rosy picture,” he said.
And with those numbers he really couldn’t.
Frustration is high for Yeo to turn the team around after the three-day hiatus.
“This is not us,” Yeo said. “It’s plain and simple that this is not us. And there’s no way that we can accept this. It’s not us.”
Monday, the Wild played without star forward Zach Parise, and the offense was as weak as ever.
The lone Wild goal came on a two-man advantage, and it took 91 seconds on the 5-on-3 to get the goal.
The Wild have talked a lot lately about what it will take to get them out of their scoring slump. But so far, it’s been just that… talk.
The Wild have scored three or more goals just twice in their past 16 games. On a goals-per-game basis, they’re the worst offensive team in the Western Conference and second worst in the NHL.
After the loss, they entered the hiatus of no practices or games until Friday in Winnipeg.
“I think it’s a good time for the break,” said Kyle Brodziak, who has two goals this season. “I think we need a few days to really find what we need to do and what every guy individually needs to do and however we need to do it to break out of whatever funk we’re in right now.”
The Wild started their three-game road trip on Thursday in Pittsburgh, and Yeo said this was an important game for the team to win, but they ended up being outscored 13-4.
“I’m not going to try to paint a rosy picture and I’m not going to make any excuses,” Yeo said. “Flat out, we need to be better. That’s every one of us. It starts with me. We all have to be better.”
This was a great team when they opened the season — a record-setting team. But they haven’t been able to score in the past month and that is hurting them along the way.
But Yeo isn’t going to let the past month get in the way of where he sees the Wild in the future.
“I’m not concerned,” Yeo said. “I’m not. We’ll get it back with this group. We’ll get it back by being better individually. Like I said, it starts with me. I’ll be better. And it goes down the line.”