When the Minnesota Wild hired Mike Yeo as a first-time NHL head coach, he fit their criteria for a bench boss who could develop several top, young players. Yeo has undergone his own growth in that time, too, and the Wild were satisfied enough with the results on both fronts to make another commitment to him. After his three-year contract extension was finalized last weekend, Yeo appeared with general manager Chuck Fletcher at a news conference Friday to discuss the deal and the team’s future.
Mike Yeo’s three-year run in Minnesota has been anything but easy. The Wild coach has had to navigate key injuries to his roster, his own growing pains in his first NHL head coaching job and the considerable expectations brought forth when the team’s owner spent nearly $200 million on two players two summers ago.
Throughout an up-and-down season, the Minnesota Wild lagged behind the leaders of the Central Division. With an extended test against two of the top teams in the playoffs, though, the Wild clearly passed.
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It’s been a stomach-churning couple weeks for the Minnesota Wild and their fans. The team was decided underdogs against the Colorado Avalanche, and much more so against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Two hours before Game 7 in Colorado, Nino Niederreiter sat alone in the stands. Just a man, his thoughts and his hockey sticks. It’s a routine he started a few years ago and does before every game; sitting in the seats, taping his sticks and getting focused.
in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Keith Ballard helped the Minnesota Wild limit the Chicago Blackhawks, which is a big part of the game plan. “I think with their personal … there’s more shots that become dangerous. They don’t always have to be odd-man rushes or back-door plays or stuff like that – they’ve got a lot of skill in their lineup,” Ballard said.
History has a tendency to repeat itself. For the third playoff series in a row, the Minnesota Wild went into Game 3 at Xcel Energy Center looking for their first win, being down two games to none. And thanks to a pair of Finns, the Wild got that victory on home ice, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. Chicago now leads the series two games to one with Game 4 on Friday night.
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The Minnesota Wild have returned defenseman Keith Ballard to the lineup for Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal against Chicago. Coach Mike Yeo confirmed the change after the pre-game skate Tuesday. Ballard replaced Nate Prosser on the third blue line pair.
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Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal for the Minnesota Wild in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Chicago Blackhawks.
As you know by now, the Minnesota Wild won their first playoff series in 11 years, defeating the Colorado Avalanche in seven games to move on to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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Mikael Granlund is the soft spoken, high-profile number-one pick who’s putting up numbers for the Minnesota Wild. He has thrived this play-off series, and maybe because he loves the play offs.