The Minnesota Wild hit the practice rink on Friday morning after an uncharacteristic performance in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres at the Xcel Energy Center.
“We weren’t out there very long and drills didn’t last long we just wanted to get going,” Wild coach Dean Evason said in a media availability session after the team practice. “We talked about wanting to start the engines again, and we stalled out a little bit last night. The legs were not there. “There’s no question we were behind everything last night,” Evason said. “The thought process today was get a little jump start.”
The Wild needed something as the Sabres outshot the Wild 21-6 in the first period on Thursday night, and goalie Cam Talbot was the reason the Wild stayed in the game.
“The entire group besides Cam Talbot was flat,” Evason said. ” It probably should have been 4- or 5-0 after one (period). Right? We were so fortunate to even get a point.
“Clearly we recognized that’s not who we are,” Evason said. “We recognized that’s not good enough to win in the National Hockey League. I don’t care who you’re playing.”
The Wild have dropped three straight games for the first time under Dean Evason, and will have to wait a bit for a chance at a bounce-back game. Minnesota was set to host Florida on Saturday afternoon but the game was postponed on Friday afternoon due to the Panthers dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.
The NHL announced on Friday that the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames and Panthers have all had games postponed through the NHL holiday break because of COVID-19 concerns. Each team is scheduled to play again on Dec. 27.
The Wild are scheduled to face the Dallas Stars in a road matchup on Monday and Evason sounded confident his players will respond.
“We had a great meeting this morning and you could feel that the group was, I don’t know if disappointed is the right word, but we all knew that we did not play the way that we are capable of (on Thursday),” Evason said.
“I refuse to believe we took Buffalo lightly,” Evason said. “I have too much respect for the group in the room that we do that. I think we had a really off night and that is not our hockey club. I know they know that and we’re going to be better going forward.”