ST. PAUL, Minn. As the losses piled up in the second half of the season for the Minnesota Wild, the words became harder and harder for first-year coach Mike Yeo to find in postgame press conferences.
The emotional toll was evident night-in and night-out on the coach's face. He was exasperated after losses, at times relieved after wins. There were times he blasted the effort of his team and times he praised their resiliency. The free-fall from the top of the NHL in December to the seventh-worst record in the league, and how to deal with his players, media and the public, was a learning experience.
Those losses wore on Yeo.
"I hate to lose; there's no question," Yeo said. "So, it was tough. Especially when there was a bit of a feeling when there was something we worked so hard to get was slipping away from us. There was some tough days, but there was not one day where I didn't wake up in the morning and was excited to come to the rink and get to coach this team. I know that. You g...