– Mike Yeo believes Charlie Coyle’s five-year, $16 million contract extension signed in October has contributed to the forward’s scoring slump. That slump — no goals in 22 consecutive games heading into Saturday’s game at Arizona — has caused other parts of Coyle’s game to suffer, the Wild coach said.

“I would say he’s feeling more pressure, obviously signing the contract,” Yeo said before Saturday’s game. “I think that’s good that a player takes that on themselves, but at the same time, you have to make sure you handle it right. He’s a young player that’s still learning how to go through something like this.”

As much as Coyle respects his coach, he doesn’t agree the contract has anything to do with his two goals and 11 points in 28 games. Coyle says the contract, which doesn’t kick in until next season, “is not even on my mind.”

But he admits his confidence is not high.

“Every time you’re not scoring, anybody’s confidence is going to be somewhat down,” said Coyle, who has had no goals since Oct. 23 and has two assists and 18 shots in the past 12 games. “You can’t focus on the lack of points, but I want to participate in scoring and help out. I know [Yeo] needs more. I know we need more. I’ve got to step it up and just build that confidence, whichever way I can.”

Coyle has bounced throughout the lineup and even moved between right wing and center, but Yeo said: “He should be strong enough to deal with it. I would agree though we have to get him to a point where he’s feeling some consistency, and we have to find a way to put some confidence into his game.”

Coyle went through a similar stretch last season, going 10 games and 15 games without a goal sandwiched by a two-goal game. After a meeting with Yeo, Coyle scored five goals and 10 points in the final 12 games before putting together a strong playoff.

“One goal came and then another goal came, and I scored at a bigger pace than I ever scored before. So it comes in bunches. This happens to everyone,” Coyle said. “The way I got out of that was just focusing on doing the right things and working hard. If you’re not scoring, play good defensively, be a force in the offensive zone to create space for guys.”

Yeo met with Coyle after Friday’s practice.

“We need Charlie right now,” Yeo said. “He’s not unlike a lot of players and our entire group. If things haven’t gone well, that’s fine. Well, what are we going to do? Are we going to push through it and find a way and demand that things turn around or are we just going to keep on looking in the rearview mirror?”


Back with a vengeance

Jonas Brodin entered Saturday’s game tied for fourth among NHL defensemen with a plus-14.

Since missing 17 days and seven games with the mumps, Brodin was plus-8 in six games since his return before Saturday.

“He’s playing great hockey right now,” Yeo said. “Battles are not won based on size, and he’s not a big guy. But if you go into the corner with him, it’s going to be awfully difficult for you to come out with the puck.”

Brodin was paired in Thursday’s game at San Jose with Christian Folin because of Marco Scandella’s suspension.

Asked if it’s easy playing with his Swedish countryman, Brodin said, “We actually speak English on the ice because it’s weird talking Swedish on the ice. Our calls on the ice [over, net, wall, reverse, etc.] sound weird in Swedish. So we only speak Swedish on the bench and in the locker room.”



• Ryan Carter missed Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury.

• Left wing Matt Cooke (hip flexor), who has missed 20 games since Oct. 28, is expected to practice Monday.