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  • Evason blames bad defense on everyone, not individuals


    There was an aura of attitude after the Minnesota Wild suffered their second consecutive loss to open their 2022-23 season. It wasn’t woe or grief, but with every quote coming from the individual media availabilities, it seemed like players were just pissed off at themselves for allowing 14 goals in those first two games.

    That attitude and brashness turned into just head-hanging defeat after the third loss came down on Monday when they faced the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. It was a closer game than the others, but still ended up a frustrating defeat as this team still searches for their first win of the season. Another game where the defense and goaltending is going to be brought into question and head coach Dean Evason really just wants everyone to know that it is not on the individual, but an overall disappointment in team performance in every aspect of the game.

    “Goals against is a concern,” Evason said after the 6-3 loss. “It’s not on the goalie. It’s on the goalie. It’s on the defense. It’s on the forwards. It’s on the coaches. It’s on all of us. We’re giving up way too many goals. That’s not one that’s on an individual trait. Sure, we got some bad hops and bounces and situations or whatever. Have we let in a bad goal? Sure. Have we made frickin’ mistakes defensively? Absolutely. Have we not done things up the ice offensively? Sure. We’ve all done that. Have we made bad coaching decisions? Clearly, we have. Otherwise we wouldn’t be 0-3. We’re all responsible. We’ll all be accountable, and we’ll get out of this together.”

    This isn’t the most satisfying answer — certainly not a rarity when it comes to hockey coaches speaking publicly — but it sort of rings true. There were times on Monday where the offense could have tidily put this game away with a couple right bounces and the timing just wasn’t there when it came to executable scoring chances. The defense didn’t look too good and Filip Gustavsson had some real stinkers mixed in with total flukes where not even the best goaltenders alive could pull off a save in that same situation. Just a giant mixed bag of reasons why the Wild find themselves with zero wins and three losses to start what should have been an exciting campaign.

    Most importantly, though, they have a day off on Tuesday and get back to practice the following day before facing the also-terrible Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. Maybe it is just the fact that starting the season against three teams that should be in the playoffs and two that could likely be crowned champions next year, but this Wild team just doesn’t look up to the task.

    Enjoy the day off and as Evason told them to do: “Get the hell away from hockey.”

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