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Breaking down Mike Yeo’s post-game quotes

Last night’s game was a disaster. How did the coach respond?

St Louis Blues v Detroit Red Wings't Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

Last night’s 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild was an absolute abomination, and (along with their 5-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on January 20h) was an aberration. The team started off with a quick goal followed by defensive slowness and offensive lapses that spoiled the Blues’ homecoming. Unfortunately, Blues fans this year have become accustomed to a team squandering the home-ice advantage they once took so seriously. Last night’s squandering was particularly bad.

What did Mike Yeo have to say about it? Obviously he didn’t respond with a bag skate - there are games Thursday and Friday night to think of, along with one Sunday afternoon. In discussing last night’s loss with the Post-Dispatch’s Jim Thomas, Yeo had this to say:

“It’s gotta be done with action,” Yeo said Wednesday. “We just gotta get ready for the game (Thursday) and get excited for the game. This is part of the journey, this is part of the fight — that you’re gonna have tough losses. You’re gonna have emotional losses, and you have to bounce back.

...

“I don’t think that that was a 6-2 game (Tuesday) night,” he said. “So you have to be careful about when you crack the whip. We didn’t react well enough. We didn’t have enough fight when we got down. And part of it is we didn’t fight the right way. But for us, it’s all about responding right now.”

I’m not a coach (I mean, to be honest, the thought of me anywhere near an athlete is hilarious), but teaching is kind of the same thing without the sweat. If you respond to a bad day, bad behavior, a clunker of a test, with sharpness and drill and kill, sometimes it doesn’t do a thing to help. I know a lot of fans were expecting a rough day today, but it wasn’t going to happen.

That’s not to say that the Blues deserved hugs and sunshine and rainbows either, but I don’t think that’s what Yeo is going for here. Shit happens and sometimes you have to use it as a learning opportunity to prevent further shit from happening*. How the team responds to another opportunity to regroup and to spend more effort on the ice is another thing.

After that 5-2 loss to Arizona, the Blues responded with a three game winning streak and a solid game against Boston. If the Blues respond in a similar fashion against Colorado, Winnipeg, and Pittsburgh, we can chalk it up to a lesson learned.

If they don’t respond, well, then it’s time for the tough love.

*This is not how I phrase it with my students, but I think they get the gist.