Wild head coach hearing it already

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:40 PM ET

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA — Talk about a rough crowd.

Two games in and there’s already talk about running Todd Richards out of town.

The Minnesota Wild head coach has been getting bombarded by the local media on the nature his team’s slow start.

And this was before the Wild had even played a home game.

“Our first game over in Finland wasn’t a great game by any means,” Richards said. “I think there were some reasons for it, we just weren’t good and I think there were some nerves, especially for our Finnish players.

“The second game we settled down and played the way that we needed to play. We didn’t get the result that we wanted, but we did for the most part, do a lot of really good things. And I think if we do that over and over each and every night, we’re going to win more games than we’re going to lose.”

The Wild opened the regular season with a pair of games in Finland against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Despite losing both — the second in a shootout — Richards believes the experience was good for his side, who returned to North America for their home opener Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers.

“It’s just spending time together on the road,” Richards said. “We were able to do some things outside of the rink, where players were able to go and spend some time with each other.

“A lot of times during training camp when you spend it here in your home city, once practice is over the day is done and everyone goes their separate ways. When you’re able to spend eight days on the road, you have to spend time with one another, so I think it was important for our team to do that.”

With the Wild struggling last season, after getting off to a 3-9 start, patience seems to be wearing thin in Minnesota.

The pressure is on the second-year coach to get the Wild into playoff contention this year.

“I know we’re in the business of wins and losses and jobs depend on it, my job depends on it,” he said. “I want to win just as much as anyone, but for me as a coach, it’s about doing the right things and in the second game, I thought we did a lot of good things.”


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