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Amid Losing Streak, Wild Looking For Answers

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

NEW YORK – The Minnesota Wild isn’t mincing words when talking about its past 15 games.

Twelve have been losses (3-9-3), and with 31 games remaining on the schedule, and Minnesota finding itself in an unfamiliar position outside the top eight in the Western Conference, the Wild is looking for answers.

"We've been searching for answers for that for quite some time," Head Coach Mike Yeo said after the Wild's latest loss on Thursday. "We've tried some different — whether it's talks, or meetings, or whatever, we're trying a lot right now."

And while there hasn't been an answer yet, the questions themselves, and whom specifically they're being asked of, were the latest topic of the Wild's postgame at Madison Square Garden.

"It seems like guys are maybe waiting around for someone else to do it, and we have to look in the mirror and say, 'I want to be the guy,'" Ryan Carter said. "We have to change the mentality."

Yeo has never placed the blame solely on one player or players, saying the Wild needs to be better as a group.

"The answer in my eyes is going to come through me, and that's what we need from everybody inside the locker room as well," he said. "It's easy right now to look around."

Instead, as Carter suggested, and Yeo echoed, it's incumbent on individuals to be the catalyst for the combined product to improve.

There's also a mental aspect to it: the Wild has led in each of its past four games, all losses (0-3-1), and has given up goals at costly times in different ways.

"We're a very fragile team," Ryan Suter said. "They get one, and we kind of go into a shell, and that's a team that has no confidence. We have to figure it out, and figure it out fast or it's not going to work."

And no one on the Wild is taking a patient approach to traversing what's been the most adversity it has faced this season. Points are up for grabs, there is no one who isn't talking about the standings and playoffs, and each opportunity lost isn’t being looked past.

"I just feel like we're going to find ourselves too far out, and we're not going to be able to catch back up to get into the playoffs," Suter said. "We've been fortunate where we lost Tuesday, other teams lost, so it didn't set us back too far.

"But that's going to catch up with us, so we have to figure it out fast."

In the meantime, the Wild will continue to look for answers collectively, while the elements of the compound look to create a more stable bond.

"We can all look around and, I could point to a player who's not doing his job, or I could point to something else, and somebody else could point to somebody else, and it's very easy to do that right now," Yeo said. "But the reality is until we all dig in a little bit deeper and find something more that we can give, than it will be a similar script."

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