It's a vicious cycle that is hard to break without proper execution, composure and effort.
Everybody who watched the Wild's 3-1 loss in Anaheim on Friday night knows the team generated almost no sustained pressure offensively. But the reason is because the Wild couldn't execute at all coming out of its own end.
It's a simple equation: If a group of five players spends an entire shift scrambling around the defensive zone, by the time they finally escape trouble, they have to go for a line change while the opposing team regroups and returns for an attack. Then the next group spends its shift defending as well.
This happens over and over and over again. Ultimately, fatigue sets in, and nothing goes right.
That pretty much sums up the loss to the Ducks and what coach Mike Yeo tried to correct in the first of two days of practice in Arizona before the Wild plays the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.
"Our execution [coming out of defensive zone coverage] was awful," Yeo said. "There's a good lesson in that. When we're playing well, that's what we're making the other team feel. The longer you spend in your own zone, the harder it is to get out because you don't have the gas to take that two, three extra strides to make that extra play. I thought our wall play was not good at all. It was not one person. ... It was all over the place."
Zoned in: Wild stays on defensive (end)
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Feb 3