Friday, January 23, 2015

All-Star Break: For fans and players alike

In this season of almost unbelievable swings of fate, do the Hockey Gods have more woe in store for Minnesota Wild fans? Or, does the pendulum begin swinging the other way, towards the miracle of a playoff spot?

To be honest, I'm not too optimistic that the Wild overtake no less than four teams (three of which were in the playoffs in 2014) and make the playoffs. that's not opinion; that's supported by fact. Teams in the NHL that would not qualify in December, generally don't if they are still out in January. And let's be honest: the way the Wild have played since the middle of December, the Wild have not deserved to be even in the hunt for the playoffs. Eight times since Dec. 15, the Wild gave up 5 goals or more. Eight. Of 18 total games played. That's 44.44% of the time.

You just don't make the playoffs with your goal filling up like that. It just doesn't happen.

Now, supposedly (although it didn't look that way vs. the retooling Detroit Red Wings) the team's goaltending woes were taken care of, with the trade for Devan Dubnyk from Arizona. Dubnyk came in, pitched a 7-0 shutout of the Buffalo Sabres, and the Wild were on their way.

Am I right?

Then they came home, and the jinx which has been the 2014-15 Wild season reared its' ugly head after the Hockey Day Minnesota game vs. the Coyotes, who are also in a rebuild mode. Then, a beleaguered Columbus Blue Jackets team came in, and showed the Wild up. Then, on to Detroit.

Now, the future: After the All-Star break, 7 of the next 12 games are against former Northwest Division foes Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. If the Wild can't squeeze at least 10 points from the seven games, even the most die-hard fan will sit back, and say:

It's over.

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