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Yeo rips Wild: “We think we’re there…we’re not even close”

Nov 13, 2011, 10:59 AM EDT

Mike Yeo, Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley, Marek Zidlicky, Cal Clutterbuck, Devin Setoguchi AP

At first glace, you’d think Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo would be pleased with his team thus far. Minnesota is 8-5-3 and has 19 points, tied with several teams for fourth-most in the Western Conference.

But Minnesota did lose its second-straight game last night, 5-2 to the Los Angeles Kings.

The loss apparently rankled Yeo quite a bit — perhaps it was the tipping point of his frustration or something. Just look at what he told Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune:

“I can say that we felt like this was coming. I didn’t think we were that great in the St. Louis game, we won that. We played the Calgary game, I thought we were not good at all. And then we played San Jose, and maybe we kid ourselves and think we were in that game,” Yeo said. “So as far as I’m concerned, we’ve played three bad games in a row. I don’t want to say I don’t know. Because I know. Like, we think we’re there. We’re not even close. Like, we think we’re good enough yet, that because we won five games in a row that we’re there. It’s not even close. We said this when we were winning these games. We’re not there.”

While the assessment sounds harsh, Yeo does have a point. The Wild have been outshot in each of their last four games, badly in the last three (41-26 vs. Calgary, 36-22 vs. San Jose, 36-26 vs. LA) and while it’s unfair to call their overall record a mirage, it’s certainly masking some issues. Minnesota’s captain and second highest-paid player, Mikko Koivu, hasn’t scored in 15 of 16 games. Guillaume Latendresse was sent home (concussion) from the current five-game road trip. The Wild are also dealing with a thinned-out defense (Clayton Stoner and Greg Zanon are out) and might’ve suffered another blow when Marco Scandella took an Ethan Moreau hit last night on his fourth shift and didn’t return.

That said, one wonders if Yeo’s overreacting a tad, as his assessment was slightly different than that of his captain’s. Russo asked Koivu if the loss to LA was as frustrating a loss as he’s had. His reply?

“My whole career. No! Not even close. Been playing hockey for 20 years, so I’ve had worse games than that – and bigger.”

  1. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Nov 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Can’t argue with Yeo’s comments. He is 100% correct. I love my Wild but said they will only be a playoff team if they can stay healthy and that Koivu needs to pick up his offensive abilities. Koivu is possibly the best defensive center in the game but the issue is that won’t win more than 10 games a year. SHOOT the puck, shoot often, create rebounds, score goals. SHOOT THE GD PUCK!!!!

    • sknut - Nov 13, 2011 at 2:27 PM

      I agree. They were two to three steps behind the Kings all night and Koivu needs to shoot and shoot some more. That will create space for his linemates. I am curious to see how they come out tonight.

      • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Nov 13, 2011 at 2:58 PM

        I don’t like their odds tonight. long road trip, back to back games, and how late they played last night… ugh! I’m looking forward to Columbus LOL

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