Hey Wild fans! I don't know about you, but I'm quickly losing respect for our head coach, Todd Richards. It's been descending for about 2 weeks, but last night's rather harsh benching of Casey Wellman after an accidental, yes ACCIDENTAL, deflection into his own net for the Kings' first goal, I felt the need to rant a little bit. I've got 3 main points to this rant:
1. The benching of Casey Wellman
2. The playing of the sick and injured
3. Giving Nate Prosser false hope.
O.K., numero uno: Benching Casey Wellman. Wellman played a little over 8 minutes last night. After the puck deflected off an unsuspecting Wellman's stick, Richards decided Welly's night was over. Considering he kept Ebbett on the first line in the Flyers game in which he vomited a few hundred times and caused two flyers goals off two horrible giveaway passes, considering he keeps Zid even if he takes dumbass penalties virtually every time he's on the ice on the PP and becomes invisible every time he's on the ice after we score, considering Richards pretty much never benched anyone else who accidentally puts the puck in his own net, I think his verdict on Wellman was harsh, severe, border-line A-hole-eriffic and downright mean. I know the game was tight and all that, but what kind of message is he sending Wellman? He doesn't trust him in tight situations? One f-up and you're done? Good lord, this is the kind of kid who needs ice-time to learn. It's not like he's 18 years old, he's almost 23! What if this event scares him out of playing in the defensive zone? I hardly think what he did was the worst thing we witnessed from a Wild player this season, yet they didn't suffer Welly's fate. I truly hope Richards and Welly don't take a page out of the Hitchcock-Filatov book...
Secondly, Bryan said it best: We have more chances of everyone in the Wilderness winning the lottery than the wild have chances of making the playoffs. Knowing this, why the hell is Richards risking injuring our hurt players? When we play against playoff teams or teams trying to secure a spot, odds are they're gonna play HARD. What good do wins do to us right now? We won't make the playoffs, and even if we do, what's the point if half our lineup will be too hurt to play 100%? Cases like Zanon's are of course very entertaining and amazing, but we won't think so if he catches a slapshot on his ankle and he's stuck nursing it for the entire off-season + beginning of the season. CF was looking for a way to keep our players fresh and injury-free, he should start by telling Richards to give his players a friggin break! At this point, we need our players to be 100% for next season, because if we have a start similar to this year, it'll be another long game of ''Catch the 8th spot''...
Then there's Prosser. I can understand telling the guy to get ready in case they need him. But when you tell the guy he has A GOOD CHANCE of playing, then he gets all excited, calls his family, then he learns they're gonna play an injured Zidlicky anyway, he must've felt destroyed and betrayed! I realize he's not supposed to play this year, but odds are if you have to go to the hospital to check your arm, your arm's not really O.K. At this point of the season, anyone who isn't 100% should'nt play! It's as simple as this, there's nothing more to accomplish this year, all we can do is wait. Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't want to see us lose every remaining game, I hate seeing the Wild lose, but we've gotta look at the future.
Maybe it's Richards pride that's hurt, since he's gonna miss the playoffs for the first time EVER, meaning his playing and assistant coaching careers, plus his new coaching career, but TR is gonna have to wake up and smell the off-season and get his act together for next year, or else I envision him being shown the way out by CF