The Minnesota Wild have played themselves into a corner. They need to sweep this week's 4 upcoming home games. Or else, ...?
The facts are clear. Clear as mud, granted. But they are clear.
The Wild cannot win a game away from the 'friendly confines' of St. Paul. And for a team as talent-laden as this one is, that's not a good thing.
The fact that they are such a Jekyll-and-Hyde team away from Xcel Energy Center belies the fact that this is a young team, which needs to get younger yet (buh-bye, Dany Heatley) in order to achieve anything, like what the management and ownership wants them to achieve.
You can't change the players, especially when nine of them have no-trade/no-movement clauses. You will move up to five players thru free agency, simply by not re-signing them; making the Wild a premiere target on Trade Deadline day, should the Wild's precipitous fall in the NHL's Western Conference standings continue into the New Year.
As the calendar turns into the New Year, Wild fans are looking at another near-.500 month in January, with the team having a chance in 6 of their 7 games next month (you REALLY think they'll beat Chicago, the way they are rolling right now?) at home; and losing 6 of the seven road games (the only game they may have a chance at is at Nashville, but even that is the second of a back-to-back, the only one next month, and as we all know, the Wild do not do home-and-away back-to-backs well ).
So, going into the Olympic break, the Wild will barely be on the cusp of a playoff spot. Barely. And looking at the NHL's 16-day Olympic break (Feb. 9-25) and wondering...
'What if we had beaten the Jets back on Dec. 27 in Winnipeg?'
Please, Wild. Prove me wrong. Sweep the week. This week.