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BREAKING: Wild could use a win tonight

Dec 31, 2013, 9:16 AM EDT

Mike Yeo AP

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.”

Related: Coach Yeo can’t explain Wild’s stunning collapse

  1. nozzle44 - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Did we let Vanek leave the building Sunday night? I was hoping he and Brodziak would swap spots on the rosters…..oh- we’ll throw in Heatley and a bag of practice pucks as well.

  2. 950003cups - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Have they tried any of their prospect goalies? Backstrom kinda sucks anyway, so why not?

  3. multiplemiggs - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    hahahaha Minnesota fans, thinking they deserve every good player in the NHL. Seems to be really working out for you guys! You want Okposo too? LOL!

  4. endusersolutions2013 - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    BIG problem with the Wild is their lack of scoring. One guy, Koivu in the top 50 in scoring (41). Depending on Josh Harding playing lights out every night is not a success formula long term.

    In contrast, ‘Hawks have 6 in the top 50, 4 in the top 20.

  5. whatbringsyouintotown - Dec 31, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    You’re comparing apples (Blackhawks) to oranges (Wild), it’s also a shameless plug.

    • cmmorgan32 - Dec 31, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      It doesn’t change the fact that Minnesota’s inability to score goals is their biggest problem. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it doesn’t matter who’s in net if the team can’t score goals. More often than not, both Harding and Backstrom have given Minnesota opportunities to win games. For whatever reason (mistakes or otherwise), the team has been unable to capitalize on those opportunities. Unless something changes soon, Minnesota will continue to dig themselves into a deeper hole which will cost them a playoff trip and some front-office personnel (arguably).

    • endusersolutions2013 - Dec 31, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      Not at all. I used the Hawks players points in contrast to show the huge disparity in an area where the Wild clearly need to improve as it is currently wrecking their playoff chances.

      I wish the Hawks defense was a good as the Wild, who are better in GAA, Save% and PK.

  6. AppealToReason - Dec 31, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    #HotSportsTakes

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