Mike Yeo dropped a little gamesmanship prior to Tuesday’s Game 4 against Chicago.
The Wild head coach claimed the ‘Hawks were cheating — and cheating well — when it came to faceoffs in Games 1 and 2, in which Chicago won 72 of 139 draws.
“When we were in Chicago, I thought they did a pretty good job of cheating in some of those situations,” he explained. “I thought we did a better job at kind of handling that last game.”
Minnesota rebounded to win the faceoff battle in Game 3 — 40-32 — but both coaches were generally displeased that neither team got to cheat.
Linesmen Mark Wheeler and Steve Miller were throwing people out left and right, and Yeo was flummoxed as to why (and didn’t get much of an explanation.)
“I might have said a couple things,” Yeo told the Sun Times, “but it wasn’t much of a conversation.”
Talk of faceoff cheating has run rampant through these playoffs.
Yeo’s comments come on the heels of those made by Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault, who implied the Sharks were cheating/allowed to cheat in faceoffs during Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal.
Then, following Monday’s 5-2 loss to the Bruins, Toronto center Tyler Bozak said the B’s were “cheating better” in the faceoff circle.
Chicago center Andrew Shaw sees it a little differently.
“Every centerman cheats on draws,” he said. “That’s what you have to do to win draws.
“If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying, I guess.”