The Minnesota Wild only visited Verizon Center twice in the past five seasons, so the Washington Capitals aren’t too familiar with them. But the feeling isn’t quite mutual.
Minnesota coach Mike Yeo was an assistant with the Pittsburgh Penguins from the 2005-06 season through 2009-10.
“I’ve spent a number of pregames in that coaches room over there, so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect from them,” Yeo said. “They obviously have some new players, but their core is very much the same.”
Yeo knows what to expect from the fans, too. Though games against the Penguins and the Wild generate different kinds of buzz.
“It’s a great atmosphere in this building … they put on a great show, it’s a loud crowd, they’re excited,” he said. “Anytime you could come in here, it was always a great rivalry for us, it was a lot of fun to be part of those games.”
Yeo’s lasting memory of this place is sure to upset the same Caps fans he complimented. Of course it’s that 2009 playoff series, including the Game 2 masterpiece Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby put together, and the blowout ending.
“Ovechkin vs. Crosby, it was pretty amazing, the dual hat tricks and then the big Game 7 victory in here,” Yeo said. “I remember that game fairly well.”