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Guerin unimpressed by Wild's slow start: 'I'm not happy with where we are'

Bruce Kluckhohn / National Hockey League / Getty

Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin is calling for more from his roster after a 5-8-4 start to the season.

Prior to Sunday's loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Stockholm, Guerin shared his feelings about the current state of the club.

"I'm not happy. I'm not happy with where we are," he said, per The Athletic's Michael Russo and Joe Smith.

The defeat to Toronto was Minnesota's fifth in a row and eighth in 10 games. The Wild currently sit sixth in the Central Division and are four points out of a wild-card position in the Western Conference.

"My biggest thing is our compete level," Guerin said. "And look, guys work hard every night and they care. I know that. But it's a different type of compete and focus. I just don't think we've had it.

"It's everything from faceoffs and 50-50 puck battles to just pure execution, being in position, being in the right places to tape-to-tape passes. It all needs to be better."

Guerin orchestrated a team meeting before it flew to Sweden and voiced his displeasure in the wake of a 8-3 loss on home ice to the Dallas Stars on Nov. 12.

"It was kind of a kick-in-the-ass, figure-our-shit-out kind of meeting," forward Ryan Hartman said.

Guerin avoided placing blame on head coach Dean Evason and mentioned he wants to see more from the Wild's top players.

"It’s that old saying. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink," he said. "I think Dean’s doing a good job. And you know what? He can’t go out and play for the guys. He can’t have them execute. They have to do that. They have to do that."

The Wild have reached the postseason four years running and have put together back-to-back 100-plus point campaigns. Their next game comes Friday against the Colorado Avalanche.

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