The Minnesota Wild season ended last night, on what some might say was a heartbreaker. A lucky bounce off the glass might have given Chicago a spot in the Western Conference Finals. Although it was a crazy carom off the board, Mr. Showtime, Patrick Kane, made a move that no goalie had a chance of saving. A backhanded shot that goes top-shelf, you can’t do much about it. It was a crushing end to a great year for the Minnesota Wild but there were times during the playoffs where I was saying to myself, "Yeo got to be kidding me?"
Mike Yeo just finished his third year as the Minnesota Wild’s Head Coach, but hasn’t got past the conference semifinals in the playoffs. The Wild have brought the superstars like Parise and Suter. They have drafted young talent like Granlund and Haula. The have agreeably the best fan support in the NHL to play in front of. It seems as if they have everything a team needs to win a Stanley Cup. So why isn’t Mike Yeo getting done in the playoffs? You can blame it on the goalie carousel but Yeo has to be a somewhat part of the problem.
Mike Yeo came to Minnesota’s organization from Pittsburgh, where he was an assist coach under head coach Dan Bylsma. Many say Bylsma is going to be out of a job soon because he has a Stanley Cup contending team but can’t get it done in the playoffs. Isn’t that the same for Mike Yeo? Should he be losing his job too?
To win a Stanley Cup you have to win on the road. The Wild’s record on the road this postseason 1-6, that’s not going to get it done. As a head coach you need to have the ability to get your team ready to win on the road. It is a much tougher environment but great coaches do it. They light a spark under their team to get them ready to play. I didn’t really see that from Mike Yeo. The Minnesota Wild was always starting slow on the road. Playoff hockey is about playing with fire and setting a tone. The Wild didn’t do that on the road and their record shows it. We need more fire, we need more fight, we need to get our coaching staff right.
When Erik Haula, a third line rookie center, is your best player in an elimination game, you’re probably not going to win. We need a spark in OT and we couldn’t find it. The only good thing that came out of this game six lost to Chicago Blackhawks is they are one step closer to getting Thomas Vanek in free agency. Look at the facts, the last two games of Minnesota’s season only two goals. We need more scoring. Vanek is just the right guy. We know he wants to come to Minnesota, it’s his home and it is where he played his college hockey. He wants to win but can Mike Yeo get him and the Minnesota Wild a Stanley Cup? It is a long offseason so let the rumors begin.
Thanks for reading.