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Mike Yeo’s having a lot of trouble with his Minnesota Wild. You know, the Wild that has dedicated $196 million into two players and sits six points squarely out of a wild card spot.
And he’s so pissed, he had to leave practice, like as in stormed off the ice where his team, which has gone 2-4-4 in its last 10 games, was doing drills. Oye.
Check the video from KSTP in the Twin Cities area. Lots of beeps and look at Yeo's face and eyes. He's like Bruce Banner ready to erupt with RAGE!!! Which he does near the end when he slams his stick on the boards. YEO SMASH!!!!
Wild writer beat authority Mike Russo tweeted that Yeo was “going nuts” at practice. That is fantastic on so many level. As Russo notes, assistant GM Brent Flahr watched from the stands.
Says Russo in his blog:
...Yeo stopped practice early on, uncharacteristically pulled the team to the far end of the rink away from the ink-stained wretches and lit into his group demanding more effort and execution.
The yuck continued. Moments after captain Mikko Koivu was bumped to the ice and had trouble getting to the feet, the Wild captain, whom I’ve noticed off the rink has been playing through a lower-body injury the past week, slowly got up, skated to the bench, cracked his stick against the glass, then chopped it in half as he marched down the runway angrily.
Yeo immediately had the players line the width of the ice on the penalty-box side and skated them so hard without pucks, I heard Herb Brooks in my head yelling, “Again.”
From Thomas Vanek to Russo:
“I think Yeozie lost it here,” Vanek said afterward.
Oh yes he did oh yes he did.
And when asked why he melted down, Yeo didn't elaborate much, just saying that the team wasn't good enough at practice.
Say what you want about the Wild – yes its goaltending blows. But this is a team that has a lot of talent, between the great Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and the Nino – along with what should be one of the top young defenses in the NHL anchored by Jonas Brodin. How are they so awful?
First off Thomas Vanek’s gambling issues, and his sudden forgetting how to score, could be a reason
But you have to look long and hard at Yeo – which we did Sunday, and will do again Wednesday.
And if Zucker thinks the system works, what exactly is the expectation of the system? Making the playoffs and losing in the first or second round?
If you’re expecting a Wild rebound this season, just don’t. The team tends to underperform with Yeo in the second half of the season – be it 82 games or 48 games.
In 2011-12, Yeo’s first year, his squad entered Dec. 13 a 20-7-3. It finished the year 35-36-11.
In the lockout-shortened 48-game season, the Wild entered April with a 21-11-2 record. And backed into the playoffs with a 26-19-3 mark – going 5-8-1 down the stretch.
The only sort of outlier would be 2013-14 where the Wild finished the year at 43-27-12 on the strength of a four-game win streak to close out the regular season. But if you go back to mid-December, the Wild went 23-16-7 the rest of the season – which is essentially a .500 record if you combine the regulation and shootout/OT losses.
We can use fancy stats on the Wild all we want to figure out what's going on, but ultimately the team is just 'meh' in the win/loss column under Yeo.
Let’s not kid ourselves, from a personnel perspective the Wild is not as good as the Blackhawks. Nor is it as good as the Ducks, or the Kings. But it should be better than it is, considering the amount of money its owner has spent on pretty good assets – even if Vanek has probably provided a mess this year no coach could deal with.
Will this officially lead to the end for Yeo?
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