January, 2015: Minnesota Wild is in a free-fall through early and mid-January and there’s talk Mike Yeo’s job as head coach should be on the line, before that team turns it around and rolls right into the playoffs.
January, 2016: Maybe things aren’t quite as dire for the Wild compared to a year ago, but this month has provided its share of difficulties. Minnesota still remains in a Wild Card spot, four points up on Nashville in that race, but only three wins in the last 10 games have made things a bit closer than the Wild would like.
The Wild was in a position to claim at least a single point versus the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, after Jarret Stoll scored (his third of the season) to tie the game for Minnesota. But off a faceoff, Sharks’ forward Joe Pavelski scored with 1:24 remaining in regulation to give his team the lead.
San Jose would hold on for the 4-3 win.
Minnesota’s three-game trip through California produced two of a possible six points.
In those two losses, the Wild was tied with the opposition in the third period. Against Anaheim and again against San Jose, the Wild conceded a late go-ahead goal and, as a result, valuable points.
“It’s kind of the Anaheim story,” Stoll told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
“Tie game late in the third on the road, you want to at least get a point. We’ve got to lock those games down. A playoff team, a good team, you’ve got to lock those games down.”