Alright Wild fans, are you back on the bandwagon yet?
I, of course, never got off. But was last night’s win enough to get you back to believing in this team?
It was enough for WCCO-TV reporter Rachel Slavik, who sent me the following text after last night’s game:
Rachel: “I already like the new goalie.”
Jen: “Ha! Back on the bandwagon?”
Rachel: “You know it!”
Jen: “Glad to have you back!”
I know Buffalo isn’t a very good team right now, but to put the win in perspective think about this: The Wild’s 7-0 win was the worst home loss the Sabres have endured since 1977 when they lost to the Canadiens 9-2.
So yes, Buffalo is not a great team, but to beat them the way the Wild did, I think it shows some character and I hope it’s just what this team needed to get back on track!
Let’s take some time to talk about the man between the pipes for the Wild, the newly-acquired Devan Dubnyk, who became the first goalie in Wild history to net a shutout in his first game.
Now let’s be honest. He didn’t have to stop that many shots — 18 — but it wasn’t about the shots or the saves. Again, it all comes down to confidence, and I think the team had lost confidence in Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Keumper. So to get new blood into the net and come away with a big win was HUGE for this team’s mental state.
So was the win against Buffalo a sign of things come? Will it be the catalyst that gets this team on a winning run and back into the playoff hunt? Only time will tell, but for now let’s just enjoy the fact that we got to see a really great game. And, for the first time in what feels like forever, we had a reason to celebrate.
The Wild were off on Friday to honor Zach Parise’s father, J.P., who died of lung cancer last week. They’ll be back on the ice at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday for “Hockey Day Minnesota.”
The Wild will host the Arizona Coyotes, who — like Buffalo — are having a tough season. I’m assuming we’ll once again see Dubnyk in goal. I mean, you gotta give him the nod against his former team, right?
I feel good about Saturday’s game, of course I always do! Yes, I may be an eternal optimist when it comes to my team, but someone has to be and it might as well be me.
Go Wild! And all you hockey fans enjoy Hockey Day Minnesota. It should be a fun day in St. Paul!