Another game against the Blues, another preseason loss.
If you happened to attend tonight’s 4-1 loss at the X, hopefully you were one of the fans who took advantage of the free ticket offer by bringing in some new or used hockey equipment to donate. If you paid NHL prices for tonight, you deserved a free lower-bowl seat to a future home game.
While the Blues brought their regulars and looked in regular-season form, the Wild still dressed a collection of minor-leaguers and one tryout with so many regulars out with injuries (Koivu, Brunette, Sykora, Bouchard, Pouliot, Weller, Hnidy and Boogaard).
Tonight was the first time people should rally start to feel concerned. Concerned about the fact that nine regulars are still shelved, concerned that the team on the ice looks utterly confused at times as to which system they should be playing, concerned that the defensemen don't know whether to pass or skate it out, concerned that we are a week away from the start of the season and the Wild still have six or seven guys who should be in Houston getting massive ice time, concerned that the Wild are going for the long bomb time and again instead to taking the zone with speed, concerned that the new "up-tempo" offense only amassed 18 SOG tonight. Frankly, things are NOT looking good.
Of course, this could all change when the guys who should be in Houston actually go to Houston and Koivu, Bouchard, Brunette, Nolan et al, finally take the ice on a regular basis.
After all, Todd Richards is trying to alleviate fears.
"Concerned that this could take well into the season? It’s one game. The other games, there’s been lots of positive signs. Today was a disappointing night and tomorrow’s a new day. If we have everybody come in and raises their compete level. You can’t be losing one-on-one battles all over the ice. If you do that enough time, you’re going to be chasing all night long.'
But, I'm still awfully concerned at this point.
Hockey Wilderness Three
Questions to Answer
- Over/Under of guys not on the roster Sunday: 5. I'm taking the under.
- Will Jaime Sifers play his way onto the roster? No penalties, didn't allow a goal and had 18:56, he's definitely on the bubble.
- Todd Richards has said that the guys take a while to get into the flow of his system, then when they're tired, they revert back into Lemaire's at the end of games too. With this in mind, will Robbie Earl revert to his diving ways from Wisconsin? Can anyone help me here? He only had 9:52, but I'm guessing he had at least one nice dive.
- How can NHL teams charge full price for preseason tickets without being charged for theft by swindle? As Russo stated, anyone who paid full price for tonight's game deserves a free lower-bowl ticket.
- Can the Wild get out tonight with fewer PIM than the last two games, and no injuries? Definitely fewer PIM, but I haven't heard about injuries.