Dec 31, 2013, 9:16 AM EDT
We’ve used this headline format twice this season — once for the Flyers, another time for the Canucks — and both times the team that could use a win lost. So let’s try a third time with Minnesota, who could really use a win to break a five-game losing streak (all in regulation) that’s seen its playoff chances fall rather dramatically.
The Wild’s opponent tonight? That would be St. Louis, one of the best teams in the NHL, and with just one regulation loss in its last 10. So yeah, it won’t be easy. Especially not without Zach Parise, who could be out a while with a fractured foot.
It’s gotten to the point in Minnesota where they’re asking serious questions about coach Mike Yeo’s job security.
“That’s always the reaction in sports,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said, per the StarTribune. “I go back to, ‘Do you define your team based on five games or based on 36?’ If every time you have a five-game winning streak or a five-game losing streak you start to overreact either way, you’re going to be in trouble in this business.
“You’re going to have stretches where you lose games in every season, and we’re in one right now. We’ve got to get out of it. We have the personnel here — both coaches and players — that can get us out of it. If I can help out in any way, I’m going to try. Right now I think overreacting is not the right approach. We’ve got to show faith in this group.”
After hosting the Blues, the Wild get visits from a couple of beatable teams in Buffalo and Washington. But the focus for now is tonight.
“We, as a group, need to be mentally tough,” said forward Matt Cooke. “There’s no other option but to go out and have our best game of the year [Tuesday] night against St. Louis.”
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