In a measured, professorial tone, Chuck Fletcher tried his hardest Friday to get everybody from perturbed fans to impatient media members to his own struggling players to take a deep breath and relax.
One day after the Wild lost its third consecutive game and heard loud and clearly what the fans thought of its home-ice performance against Vancouver, the Wild general manager attended practice with in-good-spirits owner Craig Leipold and tried to relieve some of the tension.
Fletcher gave Mike Yeo and his coaching staff a vote of confidence and said he still believes wholeheartedly in the players assembled despite a 4-5-1 start to the season.
"Mike and the coaches are doing a very good job," Fletcher said. "We've got a lot of pieces to juggle in a short amount of time. We're trying to find chemistry, and frankly we can't get caught up in the angst and outside opinions and reactions. We just have to stay focused and concentrate on doing a better job and executing at a better level."
Fletcher said 15 different ways how much he believes in the players. "We have too many good players for it not to turn," he said. "Obviously players are struggling with confidence right now. Things will turn, they always do. Players will play to their level."
The Wild has scored 21 goals in 10 games, and Yeo juggled the lines again Friday.
Part of it was necessitated by Zach Parise's absence because of illness, but Parise is expected to play Saturday night against Nashville. If so, his line with Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle would stay intact, while Matt Cullen would move back to the third line with Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak.
Wild GM Fletcher pursues calm as coaches make more line changes
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Feb 9