Thomas Vanek's postseason struggles follow him to Minnesota


A year ago hockey fans in Montreal were criticizing Thomas Vanek for his inability to produce in the postseason. After Tuesday's disappointing 1-0 loss in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals some Wild fans are doing the same thing.

In nine postseason games with the Wild this spring, Vanek is still without a goal. Yahoo Sports notes that if you include his final six games with the Canadiens last year, Vanek has now gone 15 playoff games without a goal.

The Pioneer Press notes Vanek, who signed a three-year deal with the Wild in the offseason, has a minus-7 rating in the postseason, which ties him with Ryan Suter for the worst rating on the team.

But coach Mike Yeo notes that Vanek isn't the only Wild player struggling.

"He is part of it," Yeo told reporters on Wednesday. "Our whole team was part of it. Again, if you're going to create offense it's pretty tough if you're backchecking. So, with the way that they're playing you have to be stronger against that."

Yeo thinks the Wild have been hurt because they have been forcing plays that aren't there.

"Right now it's a matter of instead of forcing what isn't there, it's taking what they're giving you," Yeo said. "Obviously, if there's a chance off the rush we have to be quick. We have to be sharp. We have to take advantage of it. But if it's not there, we have to try to force them to make mistakes by playing on the forecheck and playing in the offensive zone."

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Vanek and the Wild don't have much time to figure it out. They need to win Game 4 if they want to extend the series.

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