Jump to content

Yeo on the Hot Seat?


Recommended Posts

It sure has gone cold in Minny as the Wild have lost their last 8 of 10 games.  Yeo led practice today after a tough loss to the Sharks preparing for them for their next matchup against the Blackhawks.


Practice got hot in a hurry though as Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports



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.”
Then, the fun began. Yeo gathered the team around him by the referee’s crease, slammed his stick on the ice and unleashed a fury during an expletive-laced tirade that had to do with how bad the team is playing and then they have the audacity to show up and “practice like this!” He lit into them for about 60 seconds, screaming his head off.


He then took an about-face, had a couple words with assistant coach Andrew Brunette, skated toward the visiting bench, slammed his own stick hard against the glass, skated toward the Wild bench and stormed off the ice. At that point, assistant GM Brent Flahr and director of hockey administration, who were watching from the stands, left, too. GM Chuck Fletcher was not at practice, nor was owner Craig Leipold, who planned to attend but didn’t.


KSTP of Minneapolis has the video 




I think it is interesting that today's meltdown in practice takes place after another tough loss and recent reports that have surfaced from former player Clayton Stoner who stated ... “I didn’t like the way it was run in Minnesota,” “They kind of just give one defenseman all the minutes and the rest suffer. And I wasn’t happy there. I don’t think the minutes displayed how I was playing. It was more of the just the way things were run there.”


The defense isn't the only lines that Yeo plays favorites with as Yeo rarely mixes his high profile veteran forwards with the younger forwards also.  


Maybe the team will respond, but I wouldn't be surprised if Yeo has lost his team.








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not a stretch at all to say Mike Yeo is in the hot seat.


In fact, he was on the hot seat last season too....and was saved by the Wild's playoff push and subsequent moving to the next round and playing the Blackhawks tough.


But there have been some grumblings amongst some of the fanbase (myself included) and rumored stuff about players not being particularly happy with the way Yeo does things from behind the bench, the types of personnel he prefers on the team, and how they should go about their business.


First off, I am not one of those people who sees a team start to go bad and immediately wants to blame the head coach or his staff....after all, bottom line is, the players have to perform on the ice, no matter how much or little ice time they get.

But sometimes, you just start getting the sense a coach may not be using his players in the best possible manner, or sends messages to his team that they are not fully buying into...and I have been feeling that way about Coach Yeo since last season.


Slowly but surely, Mike Yeo has stripped this team of...well, for lack of a better term (and probably not really the most accurate)....balls.

Plain n simple.

Hey, I get the league has moved away from goon squads and you don't want to waste roster spaces and cap space on a walking pair of fists....but it does NOT mean you have to employ 'soft' strategies, alienate guys who could still serve functions on the team, even though they may not be the most talented guys (Rupp, Konopka, Veillieux, Prosser come to mind IMMEDIATELY), and let transgressions like running your goaltender, knocking around your star players, and opposing players and/or coaches bark at your bench go unpunished.


At varying points, Mike Yeo has been guilty of all of the above.

"Make them pay on the scoreboard, make them play when you go on the PP" he preaches instead.


Well, that's great, and quite true...however, an opposing team who has a pretty good PK, or one who doesn't worry too much about giving up a goal or two because they know they are capable of getting them back won't worry so much about that sort of thing...and all their beating around of the Wild players can continue to go basically unpunished.


"oh, but the Wild just don't have the personnel to play a heavy, physical, and penalty filled type game", one might say.

Right now...yes, that is true.

Who do we have to thank for that?


Mike Yeo.


Minnesota has no true 4th line, no true enforcer type, no guy or two who can really set the tone and tell the other team, "We aren't gonna take your garbage and in fact, are gonna give some of your own crap back to ya."


The Wild HAD players like that...not anymore. Not since Mike Yeo gained firm control of the team...not since certain players played over their heads and were deemed "good enough to compliment the mainstays such as Parise, Suter, Granlund, and Koivu.


As long as the Wild were scoring and winning, the deficiencies in the 'balls' department were masked quite well....but now that the team struggles way too often on the PP, doesn't score regularly on even strength, and now has some leaky goaltending issues, one has to wonder what this team, what can Coach Mike Yeo do, to right the ship.


Is it Mike Yeo's fault that Darcy Kuemper doesn't stop pucks that he should? No.

Is it Yeo's fault the Wild let up when they have leads and let the other team back in games? Not entirely.

Is it Yeo's fault the PP struggles despite having some pretty good offensive players on the squad? Not really.


But what IS his fault is creating a personnel situation in Minnesota where the Wild are pretty limited in HOW they can play a game.

Good teams who have their main methods of play taken away from them or are limited by the opposition simply jumble things around a bit, play a bit different style, and mix n match lines or defense pairings in order to try to shake a losing streak off before going back to what they do best.


Mike Yeo doesn't have that flexibility in his lineup because of the types of players he chooses to have on the team....basically, many of them are interchangeable, and while this may be good in many situations, when the team finds itself losing and its methods being shut down by the opponents, it is NOT a good thing because the team really can't play in any other way then how they were built to play...if that makes any sense.


Not scoring? Well, let's try grinding a game out, keep the play to the walls....oh wait...Minnesota got rid of some good grinders, or won't play them as often.

Getting beat by a finesse team who seems quicker on a particular night?  Well, let's try mucking things up a bit, thrash some bodies around and get them off their game....oh wait, Minnesota doesn't have players that can do that consistently.


Not saying the Wild don't have tough players, they do....Niedderreiter, Coyle, Prosser, Faulk, Brodziak come to mind as guys who can push back some...but it's not nearly enough when it comes down to a team taking physical adventage of the team.


When Minnesota goalies got run last season and there was a decided lack of emotion or response from the Wild bench...and I even heard some rumored stuff that players were 'under orders' to NOT respond to that and just 'beat the other team on the PP'....that was one big instance where I always felt Mike Yeo may have lost his team a bit.


Oh it was cured by winning on the season, making the playoffs, and having a decent run...but the bottom line is, that kind of overall attitude will only take you so far...and will be the undoing of a coach once the team starts to falter, like the Wild have THIS season.


Mike Yeo on the hot seat?

Yep. Not hard to believe at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some talk on various sports shows in the Twin Cities today:


More whispers of perhaps swapping out Mike Yeo for someone else. Many seem to feel that Yeo shouldn't be blamed for what has been going on with the team, but at the same time, some also think the team may have 'quit' a bit on the coach, or at least stopped 'buying in' to his mantras.


That, combined with a goaltending problem and underperformance by certain players has this team in a deep hole....and we are only midway through the season.


If the Wild do indeed decide to make Mike Yeo the sacrificial lamb, really...WHO ELSE is out there that is going to step in and right this ship in time for the playoffs?

Will there even BE a playoffs anyways? And what of the underperforming and goaltending problems?


There were also some suggestions that perhaps if the coach is fired, the 'C' should be removed from Mikko Koivu, because, as supposed team leader, it is his responsibility to be the liason between players and the coaching staff, especially if those allegations of the team quitting on Mike Yeo are true.

Furthermore, that the team should go the rest of the season with three assistant captains, perhaps even some sort of rotation, until that locker room can re-bond, reform, and generally get their heads out of their collective arses.


At this point in time, I am not sure what the team can do.

All I know is, all this talk does NOT lend itself to Minnesota being a playoff team, but rather, one who will not only miss the post season, but perhaps be forced to part with some of their young talent in order to fix what ails the team in various areas.


This is a huge blow for Minnesota hockey fans, as this would surely set the team back a season or two while they try to regain whatever 'elite status' they were slowly gaining up until last season's playoff exit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@TropicalFruitGirl26 - wow you summed up a lot of things that I've been thinking myself, very good post! :thumbsu:


Thank you @IanP27 , and welcome to the site.


Wish I could have posted a large write up about something more positive about the team....but these days, positives are few and far between.


Only saving grace is that the season is only halfway done. But unless something is done with team unity, goaltending, and overall expected performance, I am afraid this trend will continue...and the coach may not be around to see how it all ends.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


More whispers of perhaps swapping out Mike Yeo for someone else. Many seem to feel that Yeo shouldn't be blamed for what has been going on with the team, but at the same time, some also think the team may have 'quit' a bit on the coach, or at least stopped 'buying in' to his mantras.


I dunno, I'd say he is responsible for a fair amount of the issues on the team.  Yeo, plays favorites.  There is no reason why Suter should be playing 30min a night.  But I guess one could say there aren't enough veteran d-men.  You and I both liked Stoner.  He probably would have stayed in Minny given a more evenly timed shifts.   


Another thing Yeo could do a better job of and that is mixing his youth with the veteran forwards.   


I'd still like to know of what happened when Harding broke his foot to start training camp.  Byrzgalov could have been an option as he wanted to continue to play in MN.  So where does the blame fall?  Were there locker room issues to start the season?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...