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Coach Yeo can’t explain Wild’s stunning collapse

Dec 30, 2013, 10:25 AM EDT

OTTAWA, ON - NOVEMBER 20: Head coach Mike Yeo of the Minnesota Wild talks to the media following their win during an NHL game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on November 20, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Getty Images

Heading home and the return of goaltender Josh Harding weren’t enough to save the Minnesota Wild last night. Even getting ahead 3-0 wasn’t enough to end their losing streak.

The New York Islanders overcame that deficit in a 5-4 victory that left the Wild stunned.

“I’ve been thinking about it since the game ended,” Yeo told the Star Tribune, “and I can’t find the word to describe the feeling right now. … Believe me, it’s our job to find explanations, but holy cow, that’s a tough one to find an explanation for.

“There’s no reason, no excuse for what happened.”

Wild captain Mikko Koivu conceded that there was no explanation for what happened. The team has now dropped five straight contests. They’re two points shy of the Coyotes and the second Wild Card spot, but have participated in three more games than Phoenix.

Things won’t get any easier for the Wild either as they get ready for a game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

  1. hennessey1200hp - Dec 30, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    May be time to shake up the coaching staff, 3rd year in a row with an epic collapse

    • byrdnelson - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      Good God yes. He has no answer. If that is alarming I don’t know what is.

  2. hockey412 - Dec 30, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    I wasn’t a huge fan of Yeo when he was in Pittsburgh, but thought he had been doing “ok” out there…I may have been wrong on that. Either way even if Yeo were on the hot seat at this point who would they get? Laviolette?

    • cmmorgan32 - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Laviolette is the only notable coach that’s available right now. Unless they plan on going “all in” on him, I think they slap the interim tag on one of the coaches within the organization (probably Sydor) and bide their time until the end of the season when more coaches are available & can actually be contacted for interviews.

  3. thecheeman - Dec 30, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Well at least Zach Parise’s not breaking down or anything.

  4. greej1938l - Dec 30, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I agree coaching changed need and coming. Love yeo saw him at MOA and got a pic with him…but he’s not getting it done. Too much talent not to win

  5. polegojim - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    You can buy players with obscene amounts of money… but you can’t buy wins, esp when injuries rob you of top gun services.

    Playoff contention and Stanley Cups are more consistently won by teams who build up, not simply purchase… but building a team takes a highly skilled GM and HC… the Wild don’t have that.

    Player Undevelopment is evidence re their three top prospects from last year – While Brodin has played decently, Coyle has flopped, and Zucker is back down… in Iowa.

    Yeo is weak and benefits from the player purchases, not his skill.

    • hockey412 - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      I really don’t understand your first point. Suter and Parise both make around $7.5M, are worth that, and both had about 20 other interested teams. Each team has the exact same cap ceiling, every year.

      • polegojim - Dec 30, 2013 at 2:49 PM

        Ok – let me try again:
        1) Parise and Suter are worth big bucks
        2) Buying them as free agents does not guarantee a Cup caliber team… and now Parise is hurt.
        3) MUCH more is required to build a Cup winning team than buying superstar free agents.
        4) Yeo does not have what it takes to develop a solid team AROUND them… he hasn’t done well developing the talent he has.

      • lordfletcher - Dec 30, 2013 at 9:01 PM

        1. duh
        2. duh
        3. duh
        4. check

        (round of applause)

      • clarke16 - Dec 31, 2013 at 1:06 AM

        Suter is probably worth the money but Parise is overpaid. Pominville is a better two-way player and Parise is paid close to a 50% premium over and above Poms salary…

        Yeo has done a decent job. The collapse is largely related to HAVING NO GOALTENDER while Harding has been out…and you won’t beat anyone in this league if you can’t stop the puck.

      • polegojim - Dec 31, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        Nice Fletch… good thing it was restated so you could grasp it. ; )
        Bottom line… the Wild thought they bought a quick contender… and only fans who want to keep pushing off that expectation are presenting it otherwise.

        @clark16… that’s when the blade meets the ice… the collapse included the Wild’s struggle to score… and the goalie is not responsible for that. Yeo doesn’t know what to do unless he has optimal situation… which = lack of quality coaching skill.

        Show me a team that keeps their head above water THROUGH adversity… even if not stellar… that reflects a Head Coach and Player Development staff who knows their stuff.

      • clarke16 - Jan 1, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        What you say sounds right dandy, polegojim–but you don’t understand hockey if you think there’s a coach in the land who can “manage through the adversity* of a goaltender who simply can’t stop the puck. All he could have done is put one of the kids in there and hope they do better…but Backstrom has been a HUGE liability this season and THAT’s where the collapse is rooted…

        Now–with Harding back–they need to rebuild their confidence and get back on track…and they will. Merely blaming the coach is the easy answer for those who lack deeper understanding. I’m happy to have Yeo coaching this team.

  6. blomfeld - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Just goes to show you that ‘money’ isn’t everything …

    • hockey412 - Dec 30, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      I’m pretty sure LA has spent nearly the same “money” as Minnesota, correct?

      • blomfeld - Dec 30, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        Hockey412 – there’s nothing wrong with spending big money, just as long as you’re getting appropriate ‘value’ in return … for a 197 million dollars, the Wild could have bought one of at least three different NHL franchises ! … Parise and Sutter are both ‘grossly’ under-achieving and they’re not worth more than 3-4 mil each per year … in fact, if they had any decency then they should offer to pay back a good portion of what they’re making right now to the ‘decent’ folk of Minnesota … either that or simply tear up their contracts and renegotiate afresh …

      • polegojim - Dec 30, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        Bingo Blomfeld… so far, they haven’t built what is necessary around them

    • williplett - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:26 AM

      Blomy, you are out of your element when you do anything but polish the jocks of your favotite club. The name is spelled Suter and if you really think he is worth 3 mil a year you are proving my point. Your should stick to talking about your made up Professor friend or posting that Hitler you tube clip of Hitler.

  7. getadealdonealready - Dec 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Not sure if you don’t know the game, or don’t watch the team that much, but to say Coyle is a flop is uneducated. He has filled every role asked this year, and done it well for a young player (Center, 2nd, 3rd line wing, top line wing). He is a big strong force this team doesn’t have enough of IMO. Brodin started out well, but hasn’t been the same since taking the puck in the face early in the season, he hasn’t been bad, but not the same difference maker he was last year. Last Zucker isn’t one of the top 3 prospects, the 3rd is Granlund and when healthy he has provided more scoring opportunities, and created more with his playmaking then their top line, he is the reason Pommenville leads the team in goals.

  8. rebekah319 - Dec 30, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Can I ask you all a question? How many of you are actually Wild fans and have actually watched this team??( Just asking) To state that Coyle has been a flop is a joke in itself. He has been nothing but good beside getting injured at the beginning of the season and has been solid which he will only get better with time. Zach and Ryan have been nothing but good here so every single hockey fan needs to stop complaining about how much they got to come here. Let it go its not your problem or your team and besides what does it even matter anymore? Its done and its time to get over it!
    There has been a revolving door of coaches here in Mn it gets spinning and spinning and all three of them have had their faults. If your going to point the finger at the one person every fan does then you should also point the finger at every single player that steps on the ice for how they have taken share in this downfall. Its not just one guy its everyone on this team that is failing! Forget the stats and the top scorer on this team its every single person. Dont just pick on the head coach because its the easy thing to do. I place full blame on everyone involved whether others wish to see or admit that!!!!

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