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Wild need better effort tonight versus Oilers

Clarkek MacArthur, Darcy Kuemper

Ottawa Senators’ Clarke MacArthur, left, scores a power play goal against Minnesota Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


“Execution wasn’t really there all night long. Weren’t really moving our feet, weren’t attacking, weren’t crisp with our passing. … We weren’t on our toes. We were getting beat to loose pucks to start the game.”

That’s how Mike Yeo saw Tuesday’s 3-0 home loss to Ottawa. Minnesota’s head coach is hoping for a much better effort tonight when the Oilers pay a visit to Xcel Energy Center.

This morning, Yeo said he’d already put Tuesday behind him.

“’s Thursday now,” he dead-panned, drawing laughs from reporters.

That said, Tuesday was no one-off. In reality, the Wild have been languishing for over a month. Since beating Chicago on Dec. 5, Minnesota is a disappointing 8-11-0.

Yes, there have been key injuries. And true, they did string together four straight wins recently. But if not for the similar struggles of Phoenix and Dallas, the Wild would likely have fallen out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Earning a win over the Oilers seems even more necessary when you consider the Wild’s remaining schedule this month:


Here’s Yeo after this morning’s skate, including his reasoning for starting Darcy Kuemper in goal over Niklas Backstrom tonight.