Halloween. The last day of October. The first calendar month is in the books, and the marathon has begun. If it were possible to look ahead and tell you what the end result would be, we would. Unfortunately, we all have to
suffer through enjoy this together. After a week that saw two unpredictable results, the week ahead begins a new month and has a new feel to it.
What happens in the past is the only predictor we have of what will happen in the future. Let's hope for everyone's sake that November might hold some excitement of a less... blood pressure raising style.
After the jump, a look at last week, a look at October, and a look ahead.
To begin the week, the fog that had set in was so thick, no one could see where this team was headed. One game would show some progress, and then the play would take two steps back again. The only thing that was certain was no one knew exactly which team was going to take the ice each night. Certainly no one expected them to lose to the Ducks but beat the Wings.
The game against the Ducks was the most painful to watch of the season, with nothing really working well at all. It was a total team collapse, relying on the tried and true dump and watch technique that has been Wild hockey for over a decade. After the game, Mike Yeo asked for patience, saying it could take 30 games for the players to fully understand the system.
The Wings game... well... the Wings game was a thing of beauty in a dark time. Any time the Wild can beat the Wings, it is a good day. A shutout is just icing on the cake. The game was not perfect, and the Wild did get pulled away from their game by a much better Wings team. However, a win is a win, and the Wild needed that one.
FYI, Game 30 is December 10th, in Phoenix, the second to last game of a six game, two week road trip.
The Month in the Rear View
As the month closes, we take a quick look back on the opening month of the season. For a little bit of perspective, the Wild were 4-4-2 at the end of October 2010. As you should know, they are currently 4-3-3 this season.
There are some kinks in the system, some players struggling to find their role, and a team that looks more confused than ready to go on a run. The flashes of brilliance are brighter than Wild fans have ever seen, but they are few and far between. The X is emptier than we have ever seen, and the fan base is... unconvinced.
Of course, all of this turns around very quickly if they find their groove and start winning. The only thing that solves the problems is confidence and time. While the records haven't changed much, there are some signs of life, which is not something the team had at the end of October 2010.
Keep the faith. For now.
The Challenge Ahead
Three games this week. What should be a fun visit to Detroit, which comes just in time for Russo to visit his favorite place on Earth, and a couple games back at home against the Canucks and the Blues.
None of the games will be easy, which should probably go without saying at this point. The Wings are going to be angry and in friendly confines, wanting to put a 10 spot up on the Wild as pay back. If it were me, I dress Kassian and hope to escape with Setoguchi in one piece after angering the poor baby boy with the bruised
ego nose Todd Bertuzzi.
We all know what a Canucks game means, so there is little need to spend much time here. The Wild better bring the heat, or they will find themselves falling flat very quickly.
As for the Blues, they are always an interesting opponent. The Blues always look so good on paper, and yet find a way to disappoint. With a star goalie, solid defense, and big scoring wingers, the Blues should be dangerous. The Blues are in the groove of yet another mediocre start... which sounds rather familiar. Of all the games to watch, this may honestly be the one. THe Blues are right at the Wild's level, which is a pairing we haven't seen yet this season.