Thomas Vanek frustrated by scoreless start with the Wild


The Minnesota Wild are still waiting for their biggest free-agent acquisition of the offseason to get on the scoreboard this season. Goal scoring hasn't been coming easy for anyone in a Wild uniform in their last three games.

After a 5-0 win over Colorado to open the season, the Wild have tallied just five goals in the three games since.

None of those goals has been scored by forward Thomas Vanek, who signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract to add some firepower.

"As a team and for myself, I think you just need that first one and hopefully it opens up," Vanek told the Pioneer Press. "I don't feel like I'm squeezing my stick (too tight) quite yet. We had some good looks; they're just not going in right now."

Through four games, Vanek has just one assist and 13 shots on goal.

Wild coach Mike Yeo knows Vanek is getting frustrated, but he doesn't think it's any time to panic.

"There are a few guys that are snake bit right now, but I don't want to start putting too much pressure (on them)," Yeo told the Pioneer Press. "What we look at is: Are they creating changes? We'll look at (Sunday's) game closely and evaluate how many chances that line (of Vanek, Mikko Koivu, and Justin Fontaine) had. They led our team in chances (in Friday's 2-1 loss to Anaheim)."

Hockey Wilderness notes that Vanek has a reputation of being a streaky player.

"From November 22nd to January 25th last season, Vanek blew up, scoring 14 goals and 21 assists in 32 games. And who could forget the torrid pace he was on at the start of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season? Vanek was an MVP during the first stretch of that season, scoring mind boggling 23 points (11G-12A) in his first 11 games. The fact that he's capable of stretches like this are why he's such a coveted player, and they more than cancel out the times where the puck doesn't favor Vanek so much."

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