With his team mired in a funk and criticisms of his coach mounting, Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher extended a vote of confidence on Friday.
“Mike [Yeo] and the coaches are doing a very good job,” Fletcher told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “We’re giving up almost five shots a game less than we did last year and we’re doing a good job. We’ve got a lot of pieces to juggle in a short amount of time.
“We’re trying to find chemistry and frankly we can’t get caught up in the angst and outside opinions and reaction. We just have to stay focused and concentrate on doing a better job and executing at a better level.”
The Wild lost its third straight game on Thursday — 4-1, at home, to Vancouver — and has now lost six of its last eight.
Most distressing is Minnesota’s lack of offense. The team has scored just three goals in its last three games and averaged 24 shots per contest over that period.
The shots on goal total isn’t freakishly low (the NHL median is around 28 per game) but Minnesota seems to go through huge stretches of inactivity at key times.
In the third period of Monday’s 2-1 loss to Phoenix, the Wild put four shots on goal (when they were trying to rally to tie.)
Fletcher said he’s not ready to hit the panic button over the lack of offense — yet. The Wild underwent a number of changes in the offseason, and he feels the talent level will eventually see more shots on goal and pucks in the net.
“We have too many good players for it not to turn,” he explained. “Obviously players are struggling with confidence right now.
“Things will turn, they always do. Players will play to their level.”