Wild tries to find lesson in slump

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 28, 2011 - 12:22 AM

Coach Mike Yeo isn't wavering from his message, and his players say they'll emerge stronger from the skid.

hide

Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo

Photo: Ann Heisenfelt, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Wild coach Mike Yeo wasn't saying anything new, either to the players or the media.

There were no wrinkles in the scheme, no adjustments to the system. While the Wild was on the ice for a rather brisk hour-plus-long practice Tuesday, Yeo stressed the same things he always stressed.

"Let's get back to work," Yeo said. "Let's get excited about coming to the rink [Wednesday] and playing against Nashville. Let's give ourselves a great chance to win the hockey game."

The Wild is on a seven-game winless streak on the heels of a seven-game winning streak, a flip-flop that hasn't happened in the NHL since 1999. The Wild has gone from having the highest point total in the league to being sixth in the Western Conference, and it fell out of first place in the Northwest Division after a 4-2 loss to Colorado on Monday.

Yeo said the Wild's problems were coming early enough in the season to correct them, stating that the team would be better for having gone through the tough times. That was a message with which his players apparently agree.

"We will be better," right winger Cal Clutterbuck said. "We'll have the experience of going through this, and of being able to get out of it.''

Tuesday's practice was spent on puck control in the offensive end, defending the puck and getting shots to the net. This is particularly important for the power play, which has struggled. The Wild got injured center Mikko Koivu back Monday, but lost defenseman Jared Spurgeon after he was driven into the boards from behind by Colorado's Cody McLeod early in the game. Spurgeon, who plays the point on the power play, has a lower body injury -- he was helped from the ice clearly favoring his left leg -- which Yeo said won't be long term.

McLeod, by the way, received no further discipline from the NHL.

With Spurgeon and Clayton Stoner (lower body) out, the Wild called up defenseman Nate Prosser and right winger Jon DiSalvatore from Houston of the AHL. Stoner went on injured reserve.

"We had a good practice today," Yeo said. "We need that, to get back into some system work, get back to ironing out some details of our game that have been lacking. That's the way we have to play, go into games with the intention that we're going to play our game better than [the opponent] is going to play theirs. When we do that we're a tough team to play against."

After the loss to Colorado, Yeo talked about his team being fragile, not quite as tough in the face of adversity as it was earlier. How do you correct that?

"That's a good question," center Matt Cullen said. "That's when, as a group, we have to come together and battle that. That's the hard thing in sports, what you do when things aren't going your way. This is a determined group, nobody is happy with the way things have gone here of late."

Still, Yeo doesn't want players trying to right the ship on their own.

"We want to win so bad, but we have to make sure we're doing the right things here," Yeo said. "We have to get that focus in our head that we'll go and play our game. We'll do what we do well and do it shift after shift."

Clutterbuck talked about pushing back rather than getting pushed around.

"Things can be going well and the other team pushes, and you have to go here," Clutterbuck said, raising his hand higher. "We have to keep climbing the ladder. Eventually the other team won't be able to get up there with you, and that's how you win. But that gets harder as the season goes on."

It won't be easy in Nashville, where the Predators -- coming off a 4-1 loss to Detroit -- are clinging to eighth place in the Western Conference.

"We have to learn from this and get past this," defenseman Nick Schultz said. "Hopefully we'll look back at this and see it as a stepping stone."

  • related content

  • Game Day: Wild at Nashville

    Tuesday December 27, 2011

    Preview: The Wild will try to end a seven-game winless streak. The Wild has lost four consecutive games in regulation; the last time it lost five in a row was...

  • WILD

    7 tonight at Nashville • FSN (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Denver 28 4th Qtr 7:49
Cincinnati 30
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Denver 82 FINAL
Charlotte 110
Portland 95 FINAL
Houston 110
Utah 97 FINAL
Memphis 91
Toronto 120 FINAL
Chicago 129
Atlanta 105 FINAL
Dallas 102
LA Clippers 118 FINAL
San Antonio 125
Sacramento 32 2nd Qtr 6:52
Golden State 46
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Washington 2
Nashville 5 FINAL
Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(SO)
Florida 4
Arizona 0 2nd Prd 12:36
Vancouver 4
San Jose 0 2nd Prd 10:40
Anaheim 1
Calgary 0 2nd Prd
Los Angeles 2
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
Brown 67 FINAL
Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
Northwestern 63
Ohio 49 FINAL
George Washington 77
Southern Utah 61 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 70
Elon 67 FINAL
Kennesaw St 65
Dartmouth 49 FINAL
Penn State 69
Green Bay 70 FINAL
UC Irvine 72
DePaul 68 FINAL
Colorado 82
Lewis & Clark 49 FINAL
Portland 71
SC State 59 FINAL
Abilene Christian 65
Manhattan 71 FINAL
Fordham 57
Truett-McConnell 57 FINAL
Ga Southern 90
Citadel 56 FINAL
Michigan State 82
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Ohio State 93
Gardner-Webb 89 FINAL
Purdue 84
Idaho 68 FINAL
Northern Ky 81
Fairfield 66 FINAL
Albany 77
North Dakota St 61 FINAL
Alcorn State 50
UT Martin 37 FINAL
Butler 64
SE Louisiana 65 FINAL
UCF 70
Oakland 60 FINAL
Clemson 70
Florida A&M 57 FINAL
East Carolina 75
Eastern Ky 66 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 69
IUPU-Ft Wayne 43 FINAL
Illinois State 68
Norfolk State 74 FINAL
James Madison 71
Binghamton 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 69
Towson 56 FINAL
Navy 61
Long Island 73 FINAL
New Hampshire 72
Northern Ill 66 FINAL
Notre Dame 91
William & Mary 62 FINAL
Old Dominion 69
Liberty 47 FINAL
Princeton 65
Delaware 81 FINAL
Robert Morris 84
MD-Eastern Shore 82 FINAL
St Bonaventure 80
Colgate 43 FINAL
Syracuse 78
Kansas 52 FINAL
Temple 77
Mercer 54 FINAL
Tennessee 64
East Tenn St 60 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 84
Va Military 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Bucknell 53 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
Alabama A&M 62 FINAL
Western Mich 71
New Orleans 59 FINAL
Indiana 79
Columbia 65 FINAL
Connecticut 80
Long Beach State 49 FINAL
St Johns 66
Wofford 44 FINAL
West Virginia 77
Southern U 66 FINAL
Baylor 70
UAB 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 83
Char Southern 54 FINAL
Colorado State 75
North Florida 70 FINAL
Iowa 80
NC Central 67 FINAL
Jackson State 64
Rice 72 FINAL
Lamar 79
Central Mich 89 FINAL
McNeese State 56
Coppin State 56 FINAL
Michigan 72
Furman 76 FINAL
Minnesota 86
SE Missouri St 51 FINAL
Ole Miss 82
Weber State 51 FINAL
Oklahoma 85
Grambling St 39 FINAL
TCU 80
Loyola-Chicago 62 FINAL
Texas Tech 44
Incarnate Word 47 FINAL
Tulsa 76
Penn 50 FINAL
Vanderbilt 79
Chicago State 38 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 63
Simpson 62 FINAL
Drake 84
Tenn Tech 81 FINAL
UMKC 60
Murray State 83 FINAL
Southern Ill 71
Oral Roberts 45 FINAL
Missouri State 52
Jacksonville St 65 FINAL
Air Force 66
Milwaukee 54 FINAL
Arkansas 84
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
California 56
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
LSU 71
North Dakota 54 FINAL
Marquette 67
Northern New Mexico 39 FINAL
New Mexico St 78
UC Santa Barbara 78 FINAL
Oregon 82
Miami-Florida 62 FINAL
Providence 76
Northeastern 68 FINAL
St Marys-CA 72
Kent State 71 2nd Half 0:27
Texas-El Paso 75
UC Davis 73 FINAL
Northern Colorado 63
Lewis-Clark State 81 FINAL
Eastern Wash 87
Walla Walla 52 FINAL
Portland State 94
TX A&M-CC 45 2nd Half 13:50
Cal State Fullerton 52
Marshall 34 2nd Half 14:49
Nevada 51
Boise State 31 1st Half 1:14
Houston 20
UC Riverside 8 1st Half 11:29
San Diego St 14
Tulane 8 1st Half 14:10
Washington 11
Loyola Marymount 4 1st Half 15:48
Wichita State 6
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Hawaii
BYU 48 FINAL
Memphis 55
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 54 FINAL
Ohio State 96
UMBC 87 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 78
Cornell 79 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 61
St Bonaventure 70 FINAL
Georgetown 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Northeastern 62
Eastern Washington 67 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 63 FINAL
Texas Southern 69
Butler 72 FINAL
Illinois State 60
UC Davis 59 FINAL
(16) Stanford 71
Washington St 87 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 60
Sacramento St 94 FINAL
San Jose St 97
SIU-Edwardsville 74 FINAL
UMKC 58
Oakland 92 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 84
Belmont 43 FINAL
(14) Georgia 62
George Mason 83 FINAL
Longwood 61
Kansas 81 FINAL
Creighton 84
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Kansas State 68
UT Martin 65 FINAL
Missouri 74
Hampton 67 FINAL
DePaul 86
Florida State 65 FINAL
Tulane 54
Murray State 44 FINAL
Illinois 64
Fla Gulf Coast 74 FINAL
Arkansas State 68
BYU 62 FINAL
Utah State 58
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close