Wild optimistic, but woeful goal total must go up 10 Apr 12

Saint Paul, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Wild were leading the NHL two weeks before Christmas, with a sparkling 20-7-3 record and plenty of confidence in new head coach Mike Yeo.

Four months later, they’re left with the “empty feeling” of missing the playoffs for a fourth straight year, as Yeo put it in his season-ending remarks Monday.

But despite the discouragement with the way their performance deteriorated after such a strong start, Yeo and general manager Chuck Fletcher are speaking optimistically about the future.

They’re convinced they have better team chemistry than before. They say they believe the current group has picked up the way Yeo wants them to play within his system. And they’re eager to welcome a half-dozen or more of the organization’s top prospects this fall when they officially turn pro.