A 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks knocked the Wild from eighth to 10th in the Western Conference.
Friday's practice should be a doozy.
After a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks knocked the Wild from eighth to 10th in the West, Wild coach Mike Yeo looked like a man who wanted to bag skate his team 10 minutes after Thursday's game had ended.
His anger was measured but unmistakable. His eyes piercing and red. He never raised his voice, but he paused numerous times in order to stay composed.
"We flat-out stink the last two months. We stink," Yeo said, his team 5-14-5 since Dec. 13. "And we come in and we don't have a good enough effort from too many guys. That's concerning. ... We have too many guys that aren't ready to pay a price."
That was exemplified all over the stat sheet. The Wild was credited with three hits in the first 20 minutes, five shots through the first 39 and no shots during a 20-minute stretch.
And this coming after Dany Heatley scored the fastest goal in Wild history 13 seconds into the game.
"We weren't mentally prepared to play the game," Devin Setoguchi said.
The game turned when Matt Cullen (one goal, minus-6 the past 11 games) took an offensive-zone high-sticking penalty. Fourteen seconds later, Nate Prosser tripped Cody Hodgson. Daniel Sedin tied the score on the 5-on-3, and the Canucks seized control.
The Sedin twins, which included Henrik playing on a bum ankle, combined for three points with Henrik scoring the eventual winning goal 50 seconds into the middle period.
"What did we think, that we would come in here against Vancouver and outskill that team?" Yeo said. "That didn't work for us [Tuesday] against Columbus. Columbus has got some skill.
"We're 28th in the league in offense and you look at the goals that they scored: They have a point shot and a deflection, they have a point shot and rebound, 5-on-3 is a point shot and a rebound. And we still want to either skate the puck into the net or pass the puck six times to get the puck into the net.
"You'd think that we would look at a team that skilled and has scored as many goals and say, 'Wow, they score goals like that, that might be a good idea for us to try it.' Or we might say, 'We don't have that much skill, it might be a good idea for us to do that,' yet it's tough to get that across right now."
That was especially the case on a second-period power play when the Wild's first unit spent 1:40 in the offensive zone and registered one harmless Marek Zidlicky shot. The hissing crowd was exasperated.
Mikko Koivu returned for the first time since Jan. 14, and his line with Heatley and Setoguchi buzzed with nine shots. Setoguchi also scored late, although meaningless with the Wild trailing 4-1.
Kyle Brodziak was minus-4 with one shot. Nick Johnson, Justin Falk and Prosser were minus-3.
The Wild showed its frustration throughout. Cal Clutterbuck, who spent the night slamming the bench door, got into a fight for the first time in two years. He scrapped with agitator Maxim Lapierre, who was later booted for spearing Brad Staubitz.
Koivu actually felt "we were right there. Just couldn't capitalize enough. I don't think we should feel too bad of ourselves. We were right there."
Yeo felt differently.
"What we do in practice, the X's and O's and all these things that we talk about, it's completely irrelevant right now," he said. "If we don't have complete desperation and urgency and a willingness to pay the price that winners do, then it's just going to lead to more disappointment."
|Miami - LP: M. Dunn||1||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter||3|
|Arizona - WP: T. Cahill||7||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop||5|
|San Francisco - WP: J. Machi||12||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: C. Bettis||10|
|Texas - WP: M. Perez||3||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: S. Gray||0|
|Houston - LP: J. Fields||3||FINAL|
|Seattle - WP: F. Rodney||5|
|Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon||5||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton||2|
|LA Angels - LP: E. Frieri||4||FINAL|
|Washington - WP: D. Storen||5|
|Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera||3||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw||5|
|Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman||10||FINAL|
|Toronto - LP: T. Redmond||8|
|Chicago WSox - WP: A. Rienzo||6||FINAL|
|Detroit - LP: E. Reed||4|
|St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha||2||FINAL|
|NY Mets - WP: J. Niese||3|
|Minnesota - WP: C. Fien||6||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke||4|
|NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda||1||FINAL|
|Boston - WP: J. Lackey||5|
|San Diego - LP: T. Ross||2||FINAL|
|Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse||5|
|Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels||2||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke||5|
|Red Bull New York||4|