After the Wild had been shut out for the first time in 47 regular season games – a streak that dated back to April 6 of last year in a 2-0 loss to these same Jets, players and coach Mike Yeo admitted to some frustration but refused to go anywhere near a panic button.
“We’ve been here before,” Yeo said. “We’re still in a decent place. We want more. But it’s not the end of the world right now. But we’ve got to get to it quickly. We’ve lost some of that confidence in our game. And it doesn’t just re-appear. You have to earn it back''
The Wild has now scored just five goals in four games. Minnesota has lost three straight and has just two wins in its last eight games. OK, no panic. But there is a realization that things need to improve. To Yeo, it has to start with a power play that is now 1-for-26 in the last 14 games.
“When you’re not scoring on the power play, it affects guys,” Yeo said. “It affects confidence. It affects pressure. And so I’ve got to do a better job of that. I know it’s an understatement, but we have to find a way to create something here. We have to make some adjustments, even if it’s mental. And we have to find a way to get a good feel going out there.’’
Minnesota will have to do it on the road. The Wild plays in Nashville Saturday, the first of four straight road games.
Here are some other items from the game:
--The Wild entered the game as one of two teams that hadn’t been shut out this season. Now only Detroit remains.
--The Wild is now 14-8-2 at home.
--Obviously, the Wild defense was very good tonight. The Wild limited the Jets’ chances, killed off nearly a minute of a 5-on-3 Jets power play in the second period. And, frustratingly, Blake Wheeler’s only goal came when he wound up for a big shot in the slot, but miss hit the puck. Devan Dubnyk reacted to where he thought a good shot would go, but puck sunk beneath his glove.
--But it should be noted that goal came after defenseman Matt Dumba got caught up ice and the Jets got an odd-man rush. Talk about paying for your one big mistake.
--Mikko Koicu was 11-3 on faceoffs tonight. He got a big win on a faceoff in the Jets end late, with the Wild on a power play and with Dubnyk pulled. Unfortunately the Wild couldn’t convert.
And here’s one final thought. Yeo knows that fans are worried that this is going to turn into another mid-season swoon. But he thinks differently.
“We think what we’ve been through in the past will help us get through what’s in front of us,” he said.
Have a good night. And stay warm this weekend.