Scoggins: Yeo tries to calm a rising sea of angst

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 25, 2014 - 12:43 PM

The Wild coach wants no part of any “here we go again’’ predictions.

hide

Coach Mike Yeo has a meeting with his players during a time out in the third period at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN on November 29, 2013. The Colorado Avalanche beat the Minnesota Wild by the score of 3-1. ] JOELKOYAMA•jkoyama@startribune Minnesota Wild vs Colorado Avalanche

Mike Yeo insists he’s not nervous about his team, even if his calculated rebuttal to reporters after Saturday’s loss to Detroit came across that way.

“That’s exactly what I’m trying to say: I’m not nervous, I’m confident,” the Wild coach said Monday.

Yeo also insists he feels no additional pressure after his owner recently upped the ante by suggesting that just making the playoffs won’t be good enough this season.

“I feel great,” said Yeo, whose contract expires at season’s end. “Things haven’t changed one bit. To be honest, I’m having fun right now.”

Except, it seems, when someone even hints that the Wild’s current predicament could replicate collapses in the previous two seasons. Yeo strongly disagrees with that notion, no matter how much followers of his team wonder if déjà vu is lurking around the corner.

“I don’t think that’s a fair comparison,” he said. “To me, it’s irrelevant. It has nothing to do with what’s going to happen.”

Fair enough, but this is a sports market oversaturated with lost causes. We’re conditioned to expect the worst. Whenever we consume optimism as an appetizer, the entree usually leaves us with sizzling heartburn.

Yeo touched a nerve over the weekend when he instructed reporters not to cast the Wild’s recent stumble as a “here we go again” story angle. He even brought prepared statistics to his news conference to support his argument.

The guess here is that Yeo wanted to prevent any outside anxiety from seeping into his locker room at a stressful time in the NHL season. His approach felt defensive and unnecessary, but he had a valid point.

The Wild is deeper and more skilled than in recent years. This is not a team that should just be content to make the playoffs, but rather, one that should offer a legitimate challenge to the Western Conference elite.

Is the Wild in the same class as the St. Louis Blues? No, not with its unsettled goalie situation and lack of scoring punch. But the Wild also shouldn’t limp into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season and then get pushed around in a noncompetitive first round.

Admittedly though, it’s difficult to get a true gauge of this team. The organization significantly upgraded its talent, yet the Wild still ranks near the bottom of the league in scoring. For whatever reason(s), this team makes scoring goals look more laborious than a 9-to-5 job on a jackhammer.

And somewhere along the way, the NHL must have mandated that every Wild game be decided by one goal, which tends to fray fans’ nerves.

The Wild is a good team. How good remains murky at this point.

“We’re not there yet,” Yeo said.

If that sounds ambiguous, well, that’s hockey in general, a sport in which almost every postgame interview includes the nebulous “effort” quotient.

In hockey, a team can thoroughly dominate its opponent but still trail on the scoreboard because of one bad shift or one fluky bounce off the goalie’s pads.

The NHL also allows teams to gain ground in the standings by losing, thanks to the one point for overtime or shootout losses. That often leaves a team’s performance open to interpretation.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
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: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close