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Fletcher Says Wild Needs To Refocus On Process

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

ST. LOUIS – As the Minnesota Wild looks to snap out of a funk that has seen them slip out of the top eight in the Western Conference standings, General Manager said it's incumbent on the players and group to get back to playing better hockey.

"Every year teams go through this stuff," Fletcher said Saturday morning. "What’s disappointing to me is I think everybody’s been focused on the power play and scoring goals, and what we’re not doing now is playing the right way."

As the Wild have lost in different ways over the past month, Fletcher said the process has taken a hit, and results have been too much the principle thought.

"We don’t win the game because we’re turning pucks over, we’re not defending the right way, we’re not as structurally sound as we normally are, so if we can get back to being the strong defensive team that we have been in the past, the results will follow," Fletcher said. "Typically the better we defend, the more often we have the puck and the more opportunities we’ll have to score as well.

"So, I think guys just have to get back to playing the game the right way."

It's why Fletcher, as Zach Parise said on Thursday after the Wild lost to the New York Rangers, 4-2, said the first step to fixing its issues comes from within.

"You can't just sit around and wait for something to come in and bail you out," Fletcher said. " If there's an opportunity to make our team better, I'll do it."

With defenseman Jonas Brodin going on Injured Reserve with a broken foot, and forward Tyler Graovac recalled from Iowa, the Wild will go with a new lineup on Saturday. 

With Christian Folin back with the Wild since Monday, it's expected both he and Graovac will play against the St. Louis Blues.

"There will be some changes tonight that you guys will see, but I think the coaches have been incredibly patient," Fletcher said. "What the coaches do is they work with the players, they give them chances, they meet with them, and they show them video."

Fletcher said he feels the way the Wild is currently constructed, and that it has shown in the past it has the fortitude to traverse this kind of stretch.

"We’re going to turn this around; that’s where our focus is right now," he said. "This group, the coaches and players have won a lot of games, they know what it takes, and I’m looking to our leadership group right now to step up and I’m looking for the players to play the right way and I’m confident that we’ll get there."

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