The day after a heartbreaking overtime loss to the conference-rival San Jose Sharks and the very day Vegas pegged him as a head coach on the hot seat, Mike Yeo snapped on the Minnesota Wild.
First reported by a series of tweets from Wild beat reporter Micheal Russo, Yeo halted practice Wednesday to tear into his team, which has lost eight of its last 10 games.
He then made the players bag-skate, slammed his stick, screamed and stormed off the ice.
Practice resumed under the assistant coaches. Assistant coach Rick Wilson had one-on-one conversations with veterans Matt Cooke and Thomas Vanek.
“I think Yeozie finally lost it on us,” Vanek told Russo, who tweeted quotes. “I think it was good and maybe needed. There’s only so much you can say before you snap.”
Watch: Yeo addresses his mid-practice tirade
Kyle Brodziak and Jason Zucker also defended their coach’s outburst, saying it’s an indication of his passion.
Kuemper left practice early with a minor injury, as did Mikko Koivu, who is dealing with a lower-body ailment.
Yeo criticized goaltender Darcy Kuemper after Tuesday’s loss to the Sharks.
“We’re not in a position where we can have anybody be below average,” Yeo told reporters. “Obviously it always starts and ends with goaltending. It’s a tricky one, trying to be sensitive to his confidence… but that goal in overtime can’t go in.”
The Wild (18-15-5) appeared to be a team on the rise last spring when it advanced to the second round of the playoffs, but Minnesota is now six points away from a wild card spot.
Responding to the Maple Leafs’ firing of Randy Carlyle, on Wednesday sports odds-makers released proposition betting odds for the next NHL coach to be fired during the 2014-2015 regular season.
Yeo (7/2) ranked only behind Philadelphia’s Craig Berube (4/11) as the coach whose job is most in jeopardy.