ST. PAUL, Minn. - When the Minnesota Wild hired Mike Yeo as a first-time NHL head coach, he fit their criteria for a bench boss who could develop several top, young players. Yeo has undergone his own growth in that time, too, and the Wild were satisfied enough with the results on both fronts to make another commitment to him. After his three-year contract extension was finalized last weekend, Yeo appeared with general manager Chuck Fletcher at a news conference Friday to discuss the deal and the teams future. The Wild advanced to the second round of the playoffs for only the second time in franchise history, and Fletcher praised Yeos ability to help keep the players on an even keel during some challenging stretches as injuries piled up. "He improved by leaps and bounds, and its not just understanding that you have to make those adjustments. Its the confidence to make them, and the confidence to sell them to your team," Fletcher said, recalling their conversation from last summer about areas where both the Wild and Yeo could improve. In the final year of his contract, Yeo was in a precarious place after a six-game losing streak to finish 2013. But despite notable absences by Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise and the top two goalies, Yeo and his staff not only held together the group but guided a resurgence that transcended the regular season. "Id be hard-pressed to sit here and name one player that wasnt better now than what he was at the beginning of the year," Fletcher said, adding: "The funny thing: At the exact point in the year when you thought wed fall apart, we actually became a team. And theres a lot of work that went into that, and again Mike and his staff deserve a lot of that." Yeo, who will turn 41 next month, has a career record of 104-82-26, plus 7-11 in the playoffs. Though Fletcher waited until June to address his status, Yeo said there was never a point at which he became nervous. Thats a hallmark of his, actually, as evidenced by his demeanour through and triumph over the losing streaks and fluke injuries of the 2013-14 season. Yeo gave four different goalies 10 or more starts each, and the carousel didnt stop spinning once the playoffs came. Darcy Kuemper and Ilya Bryzgalov both took turns, due to injury and performance, but the Wild beat Colorado 4-3 in a first-round thriller and gave Chicago fits until falling 4-2. "The team took on Mikes demeanour, and I think that helped us get through," Fletcher said. "Hey, were down 2-0. No big deal. They come back late and score? No big deal. We just kept finding a way to hang around and hang around until we could put the last shot in the net." Yeo showed a knack as a tactician during those series, too, making plenty of adjustments to his front lines that paid off against a pair of opponents in the Avalanche and Blackhawks that boast a lot of fast, skilled forwards. "The line switches, thats something I tried to make a conscious effort of at the start of the year, not only for me to grow as a coach but also for our team to get more used to it," Yeo said, adding: "But its always the players that make you look smart." Yeo said he didnt feel any more pressure to win this season than in his first one. He also pondered a question about when he felt the Wild truly clicked in the last few months before punting on the answer. "It never really gets to that point," he said, laughing. "I wish it did." Korey Toomer Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. Frank Gore 49ers Jersey . Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema scored two goals each Wednesday night in a 6-1 rout of Schalke in the first leg of their second-round matchup. "We played a very, very good match," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "We got well into the match, scored two early goals and that opened the game and left us able to counter and to use the speed of our players. http://www.49ersauthoritystore.com/Authe...n-49ers-Jersey/. The Rainbow FlickNext up is the Rainbow Flick, or as you probably know it, the trick that everybody at soccer camp thought they knew how to do. Jonathan Cooper Jersey .com) - Australian Open champion Li Na, former Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova and former world No. Mike McGlinchey 49ers Jersey .com) - James Harden put the Houston Rockets on his back and willed them to an overtime victory on Thursday.(SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Foley is arguably the best motivational speaker of this generation. Foley does his preparation in a van down by the river. Kobe Bryant knows how to light a fire under those who are willing to listen, only he constructs his case on the basketball court. Because hes Kobe Bryant, there are zero repercussions when he calls his Los Angeles Lakers teammates soft or berates them with expletives that would make Ralphie Parkers father cringe (Yes, A Christmas Story reference). You see, Parkers father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. Bryant behaves in similar fashion when he wants to motivate. Hes Kobe Bryant. He can do that. And if anyone has the audacity to question the five-time champion and 16-time All-Star, they better be ready for a challenge. Bryant put on a show in Thursdays practice and vehemently expressed displeasure with words that belong in an R-rated movie or the mouth of a sailor. He described them as Charmin or soft like the name-brand toilet paper, and knows the 2014-15 season has been in the toilet with a 6-16 record. Theres still a chance to revive the season, but it doesnt appear possible even with a spry Bryant in the twilight of his career. Wearing practice gear and talking with a swagger, Bryant sorts through defenders toward the hoop: gawkers to one side; wannabe defenders, curious onlookers and more amazed teammates on the other. More teammates and coaches watch elsewhere, impressed he still has it. Bryant, who said he enjoys practice more than the game unlike former Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson, thrives on testing his teammates. I just challenge guys, see what happens, Bryant said Thursday. I always believed in throwing them in the pool and seeing if they can sink or swim. The only one swimming is Bryant and it has to be difficult for the future Hall of Famer with nobody else around him. Any so-called basketball expert knew the Lakers would struggle coming into the season. Jeremy Lin has been benched, veteran point guard Steve Nash and talented rookie Julius Randle are done for the season and Jordan Hill is the second leading scorer with 13.0 points per game behind Bryants 25.5 ppg. Carlos Boozer is now coming off the bench and is third with 12.5 ppg. Bryant can fire up, insult or compliment his teammates as much as possible, and its not going to reflect in the standings. He recently had breakfast with Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, leading many to speculate whether Bryant is courting the assist machine. Lets face it, the Lakers would still struggle with Rondo on the team unless the NBA decided on a whim to send Los Angeles to the Eastern Conference. Perhaps Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has a point when he said the team should tank the season. I hope the Lakers lose every game, Johnson said. Because if youre going to lose, lose. And Im serious. If youre going to lose, youve got to lose, because you cant be in the middle of the pack. You either have to be great, or youve got to be bad to get a good pick. Johnson should mind his own business and remain focused on improving the Dodgers. He has the right to his own opinion and should keep it quiet. Time is running out for Bryant and who knows how many years remain for the Black Mamba. He cann still score and is proving that on a nightly basis, and is also a great teacher, leader and mentor.dddddddddddd Bryant said Thursdays practice was good because he not only let his teammates know how he felt, but he spilled some secrets on how to score and defend. The Lakers should be soaking up any tidbit of information Bryant shares. I think he just did a great job of getting everybody else fired up, Lakers first-year head coach Byron Scott said. Hes always fired up. Thats the great thing about him. Hes such a competitor. Like I said, when he comes out and he practices, the intensity level in practice goes sky-high. And he challenges guys. Its what you should do. Today, (the reserves) responded by getting their butt kicked. Scott went on to say Bryant brings out the best in guys, including trash- talker and reserve guard Nick Young, who went back-and-forth with Bryant during the heated practice. Whether it pays off Friday night in San Antonio remains to be seen. Los Angeles will start a three-game trip against the defending champion Spurs. We know its going to be a tough trip. Anytime you open with San Antonio, its going to be tough, Scott said. Bryant said he cant do the same things he used to because of his body. He has been limited in practice to rest for games, which is why Thursday was an important lesson for the Lakers at this stage. Bryant doesnt know if his appearance at practice will help the Lakers or raise the intensity level. Perhaps watching Bryant pass Hall of Famer Michael Jordan for third on the NBAs all-time scoring list will be more than enough motivation. The Lakers are last in opponents scoring at 110.1 ppg and will soon have two players in the top three in scoring. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (36,928) and Jordan (32,292) are the top three scorers with Bryant (32,262) 31 points shy of passing his idol. Bryant was asked to compare himself with Air Jordan. I think were both cursed with the obsession of trying to be the best that we can. Its a blessing and a curse at the same time, Bryant said. I think were both very similar in that regard. The biggest difference between the two, according to Bryant, is that he had to play both shooting and point guard. Bryant was jealous of Jordan having Scottie Pippen for a teammate. Bryant reflected on what it will be like to pass MJ. Its a huge honor to be here in this position. I cant believe Ive scored that many points especially from where my career started, he said. Its a huge honor. It wasnt something I thought about growing up as a kid. It was championships. Being one of the top three scorers with former Lakers center Abdul-Jabbar is the coolest thing for Bryant. Passing his hero Jordan was never a thought. It wasnt a goal that I set out to accomplish. Being in that company with Michael and Kareem and the other great scorers, I think thats most fun part, Bryant said. Being a part of that group I grew up idolizing and learning from and aspiring to be one day, thats the true honor in it. Theres honor in losing, too. And the Lakers are doing plenty of it. Bryant may have said passing Jordan on the scoring list was never a goal and winning championships outweighs statistics. However, the next 31 points he posts will strengthen his case as the best to ever play. NFL Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Jerseys 2019 Cheap Jerseys From China Discount NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Black Jerseys ' ' '