Wild drops sixth consecutive game; Yeo remains on hot seat

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 1, 2014 - 11:39 AM

Even missing a few parts, opportunistic St. Louis added to the Wild’s woes by dealing the team a franchise-record sixth loss in a row.

Mike Yeo has tried several different methods to jolt his sinking team lately and said many different things in many varying tones following most every defeat.

But the under-the-gun coach said after Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues that he’s now taking an unusual approach.

“I’ve stopped talking in the locker room the last couple [of games],” Yeo said. “There’s only so many things you can say after a loss. To me, that’s their time right now.”

Asked if that strategy’s working, Yeo joked, “the other way wasn’t working either. … They’re the players. You can be positive, you can be negative, you can get mad, whatever you’ve got to do. But bottom line, we need guys to be gamers and guys to step up.”

The Wild ushered in the New Year with a sixth consecutive regulation loss, the longest such streak in the 13-year history of the franchise. It fell to 5-12-1 in its past 18 games, picking up 11 of the past 36 points available.

With the Wild spiraling deeper into the Western Conference abyss, the 0-2 start to this four-game homestand only heaps more of a burden on Yeo, who could soon be the fall guy for this downward spiral.

“It’s our job to play the game,” captain Mikko Koivu insisted. “It’s not systems, it’s not coaching. It’s on us. The system works. We have to be better. We didn’t change as players and a team in two, three weeks. We have it here. It’s a matter of how we execute. We can’t worry what’s going on around us. We’ve got to get better as a team, and we will.”

Teammate Jason Pominville, who experienced the first coaching change in his nine-year career last season in Buffalo when Lindy Ruff was fired, said, “[Changing coaches] is not going to change anything. We have to dig deep and find a way to get ourselves out of this. It’s not going to be bringing someone new that’s going to come in and be a hero.

“It really starts with us playing well defensively, not handing them a couple freebies like we did tonight.”

The Wild got back to a solid defensive structure in a scoreless, chess-like first period, but the stingy Blues, coached by defensive master Ken Hitchcock (the runner-up to Yeo in 2011), struck twice off turnovers in the second.

“Those are the kind of games where usually we don’t break, but I guess given our state right now, that’s probably the explanation,” Yeo said.

Warroad’s T.J. Oshie and Jaden Schwartz, who have stepped up with captain David Backes and leading scorer Alex Steen sidelined because of injuries, scored the goals.

The first came on an Oshie breakaway after Oshie forced Mikael Granlund into a turnover after Keith Ballard sent a pass into Granlund’s skates. The Schwartz goal came off a 2-on-1 goal after Marco Scandella overskated Koivu’s rebound and Nino Niederreiter was out of position.

Ryan Suter broke Brian Elliott’s shutout bid with 8.3 seconds left to end the Blues’ 212-minute, 52-second shutout streak against the Wild, but that was all she wrote as the Wild began the second half by falling to 20-17-5.

The Blues, who are 5-0-2 in their past seven road games, have beaten the Wild in seven consecutive meetings. They just made it awfully tough for the Wild. The Wild registered 25 shots, had another 24 blocked, missed 13 shots and passed up golden ones.

The most blatant came between the 1-0 and 2-0 deficits when Charlie Coyle feathered a pass inside the right circle. But Koivu curled away from the scoring chance and turned it over.

“When we feel like we need a goal more and more and more, it seems like the less we shoot,” Yeo said. “That’s our entire group.”

Yeo said it was like the movie “Groundhog Day” after the loss, which probably everybody can agree with.

Where does the Wild go from here?

“Get a win,” Yeo said.

But he might be running out of opportunities.



 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Denver 92
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Anaheim 3 FINAL
Dallas 1
St. Louis 5 FINAL(SO)
Vancouver 6
SMU 73 FINAL
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 61 FINAL
Ohio State 65
Arizona State 81 FINAL
Colorado 87
Washington St 67 FINAL
UCLA 72
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
UMBC 73
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close