Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Playing out the String

So nice to see Blogger fixed its' problems so we can all get together again like this. Thanks to the Blogger team for fixing the problems with Internet Explorer. Now, could they do the same for problems of the Minnesota Wild?

Let's face it. This season really HAS been that bad, hasn't it? Now, most Wild followers thought that at best the Wild would be a No. 7 or 8 seed in the playoffs. One series and done. At best. Some of us said the Wild wouldn't even make the playoffs. Now, I really hate to blow my own horn, but after the March to Hell that was the Wild last month (3 weeks and only one point in the standings to show for it), the fact is that the Wild now are fighting for 12th and 13th, not a playoff spot. And doing it with four of their top ten players (Nick Schultz, Martin Havlat, Marek Zidlicky, and John Madden) out and not on the season's final road trip, things don't look like they'll look up any time soon.

The fact of the matter is that although the Wild tried to halt the slide in March, once the snowball started to really gain steam (with the four-game road trip where the Wild were outscored 15-4), it would have taken a monumental home stand to stop the skid. That, as we all know by now, didn't happen, as their 0-3-1 record in what would turn out to be the team's most important homestand in three seasons sealed their fate, puncuated by a blow out, a shutout, and a game where the Wild quit on their fans, flat-out.

The chant of, 'Wait until next year', kind of rings hollow in the halls of 317 Washington St., St. Paul right now. As Wild fans go into their third consecutive summer with no post-season play, the loyal fan base is asking itself, 'How much IS enough'? You wonder how, as the season wears down, what new tricks the Wild will have up their collective sleeves to keep the fans interested as the roster is overhauled once again?

Now, it's great for John Madden and his family that they love Minnesota (hey, we do too; that's why most of us live here, despite the seemingly endless winter) and that Madden wants to play here or retire (as has been reported elsewhere); but will that be enough to offset the fact that this Wild team has way-y-y too much dead weight on the roster? And, that they can't shed that weight fast enough for most fans?

Going into the summer, as the Wild change everything, from their first line forwards, to their flagship radio station outlet, will the changes on the ice be enough to address the lack of offense from this season's Wild team?

We'll see, beginning 48 hours after the Stanley Cup has been awarded, as that is when the trade freeze (in place since Feb. 28th) finally thaws. As Minnesota begins planning in earnest for the June 25-26 NHL draft at the 'X', and the start of free agency July 1st, will the fans have enough patience to wait this all out?

Until then, never mind that the Vancouver Canucks will celebrate their winning the President's Cup, for the most points in the NHL, against the Wild Thursday night at Rogers Place. Wild fans will just sit and wait for the planning of the Canucks' victory parade on Robson St., to go for naught, once again.

At least the Wild don't have a 40-year record with no Cups to worry about.

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