ST. PAUL, Minn. Players-only, closed-door meetings are usually reserved for teams mired in deep slumps looking to find cohesiveness and a spark needed to turn a season around. Line changes, call-ups and trades are an organization's attempts at shaking a roster awake.
The Minnesota Wild have done all of the above three weeks into a season filled with immense expectations. Urgency in this lockout-shortened, 48-game season is paramount, but a 4-5-1 record leaves Minnesota walking the line between urgency and panic.
Frustration was high in the locker room after the Wild's 4-1 Thursday loss to the Northwest Division-leading Canucks, the third straight defeat for a team with championship aspirations. Second-year Minnesota coach Mike Yeo took to the podium later after a lengthy delay and chose not to rip into his team as he did so often during last year's slide from league-best record in December to out of the playoff chase by spring.
Yeo put his psychologist hat on and put his players ...