The past month and a half have been a great struggle for the Minnesota Wild. Since December 1st, Minnesota has a record of 5-14-0, including only two wins in their past 14 games played. The team is also currently on a six game losing streak as well. Nothing can seem to go right for this team, and things need to change now if they have any hope of making another trip to the playoffs this season.
Although Head Coach Mike Yeo has been under a lot of pressure as of late, The goaltending has been all but average this season. Both Darcy Kuemper, and Niklas Backstrom have put up numbers that are some of the worst in the NHL to this point of the season, which is sad to see, especially with how well Kuemper started off the season this year.
So today, General Manager Chuck Fletcher made a splash in the trade market, trading an 2015 3rd round pick for Arizona Coyotes back-up goalie Devan Dubnyk. The Regina, SK native is 9-5-2 this season with a 2.72 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. I know these numbers are still very average, but they are just a tad better then what the two main Minnesota goalies are preforming at right now.
Is this the fix that the Wild need to get back on track? No, not completely, but it is a start to try and start winning some games for a team who is not even trying on the ice as of late. Zach Parise was even quoted with saying that the team is way to easy to beat right now. However, with a roster that has all sorts of talent on it still isn’t doing anything on, or off, the ice to improve themselves and motivate themselves inside the depleted locker room.
If a coaching change is needed, now is also the time to act. To the naked eye of the general public, it seems as if Mike Yeo has lost the attention to the locker room, and it has shown on the ice. It also seems that the NHL has figured out his one trick pony system and the ability to make substantial changes to fix things not working within the game. There are three coaches that are more than qualified, and veteran coaches, to take over the job right now. Randy Carlyle, Dan Bylsma, and Paul MacLean are all jobless and all have had success in the NHL, and each would be a good fit in Minnesota, for their first veteran head coach since Jacques Lemaire had the helm of the team. The time to act on a new coach is now if they are wanting to switch it up before the season is over.
It has been a very tough stretch for the Minnesota Wild, and a very frustrating one for their fans as well. Hopefully, this new goalie addition will add a little spark within the line-up, but as for now, we wait to find the light at the end of the victory tunnel.