If the Minnesota Wild weren’t in “playing bad enough that their coach might get fired” form before this weekend, they hit that point with dispiriting losses on Saturday and Sunday.
While head coach Mike Yeo acknowledges that his job may be in peril amid this slump, he’s also resolute in staying the course strategically. One can see why, as beyond generally poor goaltending, Yeo was left saying “everything” was a problem after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Nashville Predators.
“I was talking with Zach [Parise], and we’ve never been through … we’ve never seen anything like this,” Ryan Suter said. “I don’t know what the heck is going on, but every day’s a bad day right now.”
Suter added, “When it rains, it pours, and it’s pouring.”
However you like to slice up losing streaks, Minnesota comes out ugly as of late. They’ve lost five in a row, 11 of 13 and 16 of 23.
The Star-Tribune notes that GM Chuck Fletcher said that it’s not just a matter of coaching. While some of that might be standard “vote of confidence” behavior, they’ve been a respectable possession team who seem to be suffering from bad puck luck. Yeo probably isn’t blameless, yet poor goaltending and key players with low shooting percentages* indicate that things aren’t going Minnesota’s way right now.
While that train of thought argues for patience, sports are ultimately results-driven, especially when teams up their spending like the Wild have over the years (at least with splashy free agent signings).
There’s something cruelly fitting about former Penguins front office members Yeo and Fletcher badly needing a win as they visit Pittsburgh tomorrow. We’ll see if that storyline ends in a sad way for one or both of them, as it seems like the Wild are short on solutions at the moment.
* – Jason Pominville has just nine goals on 128 shots. Mikko Koivu has six on 104. Ryan Suter, Thomas Vanek, Charlie Coyle and others are connecting on less than 10 percent of their shots (sometimes missing that standard mark by quite a bit).