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Slumping Wild shake up lines, but Yeo won’t divulge details

Mar 18, 2014, 12:14 PM EDT

With just one win and 12 goals in its last six games, Minnesota is changing things up at forward.

That much we know.

What we don’t know is how the new-look Wild will, uh, look. That’s because head coach Mike Yeo refused to divulge details prior to tonight’s game on Long Island, telling reporters they’ll have to wait until warmups to see the changes.

First, some context. The Wild have been slumping lately but are still in reasonably good shape — three of their five losses came in a shootout, meaning they’ve actually collected five points during the “slump.” It’s a big reason why they’re on 80 points and holding the first of two wild card spots in the Western Conference, five clear of ninth-place Dallas.

That said, all is not well in Minnesota.

Outside of the stellar Zach Parise-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville line, scoring has been virtually non-existent. Matt Moulson, the club’s big deadline day acquisition, has struggled to find his niche in the lineup and has just one goal through six games.

Captain Mikko Koivu is pointless in his last four games. Nino Niederreiter has two points in his last eight. Charlie Coyle has one goal since the Olympic break. And so on. And so forth.

Following Monday’s 4-1 loss to Boston — Minnesota’s second straight game scoring just one goal — Yeo acknowledged changes were necessary up front to help generate some offense.

“Certainly, we’re going to look at our lines,” Yeo said, per the Pioneer Press. “I’m not sure we have exactly the right mix.

“We have to figure that out, though, because it doesn’t quite have the right feel right now.”

  1. hosewater2 - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    The Wild have some good pieces, but let’s face it they’re going to fizzle in round 1 or 2 of the playoffs. Will Yeo have a job next year when that happens? Just curious what the local vibe is….

    • tved12 - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:35 PM

      The local market seems hot and cold for Yeo. Early in the year people were calling for his head, but for the last 3 months I would say we haven’t heard any of that. I think we have realistic expectations here, this wild team is good but they’re on a 3rd string goalie and they don’t score enough to be a serious contender right now. As you can see, everybody outside the top line is struggling to score right now.

      That said, if they miss the playoffs Yeo is likely gone.

      • mp1131211 - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        *some* people were calling for his head, but most were not. If they miss the playoffs, I would definitely think that Yeo’s position would be up for grabs. But, hey- they’re a ways off from missing the playoffs. Also, look at who the Wild have lost to. A loss is a loss is a loss, but seriously: Blues, Blue Jackets (who, you might not have noticed, are killin’ it right now), Bruins… They beat the rangers. Realistically, the only team they should have wiped the floor with but lost to was the Oilers.

        Schedules get tough sometimes. It happens…

      • hosewater2 - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        I doubt they’ll miss the playoffs, just don’t think they’re going anywhere when they make it, and wondering if that outcome will be good enough for ownership that has made significant player investments recently.

      • tved12 - Mar 18, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        mp, I agree with you, I haven’t called for Yeo’s head, but hosewater was asking what the general consensus and that’s what the tone seemed like around here (local radio, friends, coworkers, etc…).

        I actually like Yeo, he’s had some great stretches at times. The problem is the collapses that have followed. I’m hopeful he can figure out how to get this team out of those ruts when they happen and then he’ll be great.

        And I haven’t been too upset about this losing streak, I’m fairly confident we’ll get in. Like you said, we’ve lost to some very very good teams, cup contenders. It’s good experience for this team.

    • cmmorgan32 - Mar 18, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      The “Fire Yeo” talk has died down a bit since January (there are some who still think he should be fired ASAP). On paper, Yeo probably won’t be getting a contract extension this summer. However, I could see him sticking around with a shorter contract depending on who is available in the summer. The only reason why I say this is because Poile and Trotz both (arguably) should’ve been fired when Leipold owned the Predators and weren’t.

  2. tlow97 - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Yeo has so much respect for players like Koivu, Brodziak and Ballard that he avoids talking to them about their game (or lack thereof) like Hogwarts attendees avoid saying Voldemort.

  3. imgoingtowichita - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    I expect Moulson to light the lamp in front of friends and family (and Garth) tonight. If the Koivu line continues to generate chances they should be ok in Bridgeport tonight.

    • clarke16 - Mar 19, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      Good call!

  4. vstar1us - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    The first thing the Wild need to do is dismiss Yeo, he is not a coach and can not lead his team deep in the playoffs. Second,Wild ownership should evaluate the G M role. The Wild have depth, they are just not using it correctly. Sure they have Sutter and Praise, but I feel they are over rated. Yes they are both good but they do not have a click with the rest of the team. The defense in front of the net is terrible, I do not care what goalie is in net you will get beat.
    Get rid of Yeo and scramble the GM and start playing hockey. Quit making excuses

    • strictlythedanks - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:15 PM

      What a moronic post.

      • clarke16 - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        Yup. As idiotic as they usually come.

    • mp1131211 - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      “The first thing the Wild need to do is dismiss Yeo, he is not a coach and can not lead his team deep in the playoffs”

      Seriously? Could any coach lead *this* team deep into the playoffs? Pieces are coming together, but the team is not a SC contender yet.

      “Second,Wild ownership should evaluate the G M role.”

      The GM role? What are you talking about? If you mean that they should evaluate their current GM, 1) not gonna happen, Fletch is rumored to get an extension (maybe he signed it already) and 2) He’s been AWESOME at trades. Moulson will start producing, he’s a great player. It’s about finding where he fits in the lines. If you meant what you actually said, which is that the Wild should evaluate the GM “role” – as in the GM should be doing other things than he is- I’m not sure you know what you’re talking about.

      “Sure they have Sutter and Praise, but I feel they are over rated”

      OK, now I know you have no idea what you are talking about. How does one of the guys who “doesn’t have a click” get the second most points on the team? He’s got 21 assists. Not bad for no click, eh? Don’t forget he spent 4 weeks out of the lineup injured, so that number could be higher. And Suter, 4th in points and a defenseman, spends the entire game on the ice and is still +4.

      Any other ideas?

      “start playing hockey”

      Oh…. good one. Yup, that’s the problem. all this time….

      • slickvb82 - Mar 18, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        I also liked the “the defense in front of the net is horrible”

  5. mp1131211 - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

    Wild are doing fine. 3 of the 4 losses came against great teams. 1 loss, the oilers, we should have won. And the 1 win was against the Rangers. It was a solid victory.

    But it is good Yeo is shaking it up. Moulson has to find his place. 1 goal in 6 games… he should be doing better than that. I know Yeo takes some heat, but this is exactly what he should be doing. If he waits until they lose any more games to shake things up, then there is a danger of creating low confidence.

    • mp1131211 - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      BOOM! 6 – 0. FIRE YEO!!! HAHAHAHA

  6. nicofthenorthstar - Mar 18, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Koivu is as uninspiring a C as you’ll find in the league. I am so tired of his mediocrity while wearing the tiara of the team’s “best player and leader.” I know, I know, I sound like a broken record ragging on him, but he has been so overhyped and over-compensated through the years that I have seriously considered burning my old, ugly red Wild sweater bearing his name. Just because it might make me feel a little better. Okay, done venting.

    • strictlythedanks - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:30 PM

      31 assist, get a grip buddy

  7. polegojim - Mar 18, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    So many excuses …. not enough performance.

    They have plenty of talent.

    Just shows you can’t buy a Stanley Cup.

  8. hennessey1200hp - Mar 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    #Fireyeo

  9. vstar1us - Mar 18, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    I think I might of got someone’s undies in a bunch! It is clear we see two different teams. Just how many points have Praise and Sutter yielded the Wild.

    • mp1131211 - Mar 18, 2014 at 10:18 PM

      pRAise and suTTer have done nothing for the Wild. Learn their names if you want to trash talk. Parise has 5 game winning goals according to NHL.com. Suter 0. But look at the Goals for / goals against. Parise and Suter have combined for 82 points. The wild are only +3 goals, so if you take out their combined effort, it puts the wild in an obviously worse position.

      Try thinking a bit before commenting next time.

  10. vstar1us - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    As I say they are good, but two people don’t complete the whole team!

    • strictlythedanks - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      do u know who pomminville is?

  11. vstar1us - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Remember the Kings were a 8 seat
    Go Wild

  12. vstar1us - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Looking good Wild Yo-Yo really coaching it up!

    Keep on the attack, and don’t sit back and be a defensive team…

  13. vstar1us - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    MP , I hope you do not have a heart attack a 6 to 0 Boom against the 3rd worst ram in the MHL and a loss against the 2nd worst team after leading 3 to 1 well you know!

    I have season tickets for the Wild so I do know the names and can even spell them, so please relax

  14. vstar1us - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Drain Bamage is great

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