MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After watching Tuesday’s massacre in Pittsburgh, I actually have a lot of sympathy for the entire Minnesota Wild team.
You can see they’re defeated, they hold their heads down and they’re beat well before they even step on the ice. The Wild is no doubt in a rough stretch, probably the toughest test this team has ever had to endure. But the big question now: What’s the best way to get the team out of it?
I know there are a lot of fans out there that want to see head coach Mike Yeo fired, but I’m not one of them. I think he’s proven his system can work. It’s not Yeo’s system, it’s the execution right now that’s the problem, in my opinion. Now, the Wild did get a new goalie Wednesday so maybe that will be the spark they need to get on a winning run.
Devan Dubnyk will join the Wild from Arizona. It cost them a third-round draft pick, but if it gets this team moving in the right direction, there’s no question it will be a draft pick well spent.
Let’s keep in mind the things this Wild team has been dealing with this year. Ryan Suter and Zach Parise are both dealing with the deaths of their fathers. The team was hit hard by the mumps, but so were other NHL teams. They also had some guys out with a stomach virus, and they’ve had their share of injuries too.
Now I’m not saying any of that is an excuse, but all those things have certainly played a role in where the Wild is in the standings right now.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a total optimist when it comes to this team. I keep thinking if the New York Rangers can go on a win streak, why can’t we? The Rangers have won 13 of their last 15 games. That’s 26 points, which is close to the number of points Nashville has on the Wild right now in the standings.
It won’t be an easy task, but it is doable and that’s what this team needs to remember. They have what it takes to win, they just have to find some confidence and I’m hoping Dubnyk will be the catalyst that puts this team back in the race.
A turnaround has to start somewhere, so it might as well start Thursday in Buffalo, right? Here’s to wishful thinking and a love of seeing playoff hockey in April at the X!