Prior to Game 2 of their second-round series against the Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild had yet to lose back-to-back games in regulation since acquiring goaltender Devan Dubnyk back in January.
A 4-1 loss put the Wild down two games in the series, but if you ask coach Mike Yeo, the team that lost on Sunday isn't the same group he's seen over the last four months.
"I don't know what team played that game, but it wasn't us," he said after the loss. "It was 0-0 through the midway point of the game. We were doing some OK things without the puck to keep it at 0-0, but with the puck, like I said, that's not us."
Part of Minnesota's struggles had more to do with the Blackhawks putting on a stronger defensive performance from Corey Crawford on out. It took the Wild nearly half the first period to register a shot on goal and until the third for Matt Dumba to find the back of the net.
But there were mistakes Minnesota made defensively that gave the Blackhawks too many opportunities that they managed to capitalize on. Much of that, Yeo believes, is due to where the team's focus was heading into the game.
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"I think the way we went into this game, obviously we put a great deal of importance, but when that happens quite often you have to make sure the focus is right and the focus is on the process," Yeo continued. "I think we were focused on the goal and focused on the win and not focused on the things we needed to do."
The Wild head back home in an unfavorable situation, down two games against the team that ended their season in each of the last two postseasons.
But after facing the Blackhawks multiple years in a row, they feel they have a better grasp on the team and the way they play. Now the Wild will be back at home in front of their crowd, and they hope that can spark some change as they shift their focus heading into Game 3.
"We know they know how to win hockey games, and we know how good of a team they are," Nino Niederreiter said of the Blackhawks. "We gotta make sure we focus on us, and (Sunday) I feel like we were thinking too much about them instead of playing our game and the hockey we know how to play. I think we played the game in their favor, and we gotta make sure we bounce back (Tuesday) and play our game."