Skip to main content

Aggressive brand of hockey leading Wild to more wins


The Minnesota Wild's (10-4-4) hot start to the season can be attributed to a number of things, but the team's philosophy deserves first mention.

When Mike Yeo took over the head coaching job with the Wild two seasons ago, he wanted the Wild to play a defensive brand of hockey.

The style was holding the Wild back. At one point, former Wild defenseman Marek Zidlicky -- an offensive-minded player -- called out Yeo for his "easy" style of hockey.

Zidlicky might have been right because this year's Wild team has adopted a more aggressive brand of hockey with Yeo at the helm.

“We weren’t going to take the next step, become a serious contender, unless we changed the way we played offensively,” Yeo said, via ProHockeyTalk. “I have bit my lip a couple of times on the bench … but we’re going to live with the risk to get more reward.”

The switch has helped the Wild improve from the worst goal-scoring team in the NHL in 2011 (2.02 goals/game) to a team scoring nearly three goals a game this season (2.61). Minnesota has been at its best at home, averaging 3.1 goals a game.

As CBC Sports reports, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher helped develop the idea to play the puck more through research with advanced statistics.

Note: Wild defenseman Keith Ballard is expected to miss a couple of week because of an upper-body injury, according to the Star Tribune.

Next Up

Eric Kendricks

Vikings-Steelers: 5 things you can count on

After an embarrassing loss to the Lions, can the Vikings get it together?

snow, snowing

Winter storm watch expands north, includes parts of Twin Cities

Everyone in southern Minnesota will want to keep an eye on forecast changes.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

5-year-old boy fatally shot on Thanksgiving identified

Police said a few juveniles at the home were making a social media video when the gun went off.

PAMP travail 1

Pig Ate My Pizza will close at the end of the year.

Its leaders plan to relaunch and "get back to the humble beginnings of Travail."

flickr - criticla care nurses nov 2021

Allina parts ways with 53 of 27,000 employees over vaccine mandate

That's about 0.2% of the health care system's workforce.

US Bank Stadium, Vikings fans

Matthew Coller: How will Vikings fans react on Thursday night?

Will years of disappointment be revealed if the Vikings struggle against the Steelers?

dinner party holidays gathering celebration 1

Health officials encourage getting vaccinated and tested before the holidays

The state has launched a "Celebrate Safely, Minnesota" campaign to make it easier to get tested and vaccinated.

Kjellberg booking photo crop

Charges: Parking dispute, scuffle preceded fatal stabbing

The suspect said he was upset about neighbors and their friends regularly parking on his property.

Dave Hutchinson

Hennepin Co. Sheriff injured in rollover, admits to drinking beforehand

The sheriff, in a statement, called it an "inexcusable decision."

CDC - vaccine band aid

COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in MN dominated by unvaccinated

The latest figures from October show a disproportionate number of deaths among the unvaccinated.

Jaxon Howard

Top MN football recruit Jaxon Howard to announce college decision

He's the son of former Minnesota Viking Willie Howard.

18 wheeler - tractor trailer - semi truck

MN trucking firm that used 'strength tests' to screen out women drivers to pay $500K

The company will pay $500,000 and offer jobs to the women it discriminated against.