“If certain guys don’t want to get it deep, then they’ll sit and then we’ll go from there.”
That was probably the key line of John Torchetti’s post-game press conference following last night’s 2-1 home loss to the Oilers.
The Wild’s interim coach was especially frustrated at his players’ lack of commitment to the game plan. What he wanted was to put pressure on the Oilers’ defense by getting the puck deep.
Instead, Torchetti said, “We didn’t want to to commit to that and we were trying to make passes through two, three guys, and then when we get over the blue line, it’s three-on-three and we’re still trying to make a pass through guys instead of getting it to the net and trying to get some rebounds and some offensive-zone cycle time.”
The Wild — who started so promisingly under Torchetti, winning their first four in a row — have now dropped two straight and five of their last nine.
In the process, they’ve fallen two points behind Colorado for the final wild-card spot in the West.
“We can’t be learning lessons like that now,” Torchetti said. “We have to be committed as a team all the way through. We should be playing playoff hockey now. That’s what it’s all about.”
Minnesota kicks off a three-game road trip Saturday in Montreal.