This has not been a good week. It is almost to the point where Craig Leipold has to consider bribing the other 29 owners to get them into the central and limit the exposure to the west coast. The losses are bad enough. The scale of the losses makes it even worse. The injuries sustained on the trip make it brutal.
Not unexpectedly, the stock of the team has slipped. With it, the stock of individual players has slipped. Not one player went up this week. Many lost ground. Time for a long, hard talk about just what is going on here. For the fans, close your fantasy investment wallets. Time to sit back and wait for something to change.
Strong Buy - Feel free to invest heavily with your fan dollars. This player will deliver every time.
Buy - Getting results, safe bet to invest your fandom in. Will disappoint rarely.
Hold - The results aren't there, but it isn't time to give up yet. Buying or selling equally acceptable.
Sell - Time to seriously consider your investment decision. Results consistently not there, and the trend is they will not be there.
Strong Sell - The lowest of rankings. Time to get out, and get out now, before your investment is totally worthless.
Note: The analysis will change from week to week, and are not equal from player to player. It's just our thing.
Mikko Koivu (KAPT) - The west coast trip has not been kind to Koivu. Just one point through three games, the top line hasn't done much. To be sure, nine points through 16, and just the one goal, is not going to cut it. Wild fans are loathe to criticize Koivu, and we are not wont to do so ourselves, but right now, the top line isn't there, the team isn't there, and the captain needs to take some ownership of that. Rating: Hold
Dany Heatley (HETR) - Decent night in Calgary, lame duck against the Sharks, and joined the rest of the team in doing nothing against the Kings. The two points against Calgary holds him above the line, but this week, we just aren't comfortable buying. The Wild need him to score. Especially with Latendresse out. Rating: Hold
Devin Setoguchi (GUCH) - This is a tough one. Setoguchi really needs to get fired up. Something needs to click here, and long stretches without points from him is not going to bode well for the Wild. Somewhere, somehow, the second line needs to find Setoguchi and get him set up. Rating: Hold
Niklas Backstrom (BAX) - Still hanging around with the shutout in Calgary, but did not play well against the Sharks. It would be difficult to give him anything better than a hold at this point. Needs to be sharp or fear losing his spot. Rating: Hold
Marek Zidlicky (ZHID) - We're out of ways to say he's bad. Rating: Strong Sell
Matt Cullen (TWI) - The second line has gone dormant a bit. No reason to sell off you investment, but no need to throw anything else into it, either. Rating: Hold
Guillaume Latendresse (BTE) - Sigh. Latendresse is out with a concussion, just when his stock was really strating to rise. Hold on to your investment. Hopefully, things work themselves out quickly. Rating: Hold
Pierre-Marc Bouchard (BALD) - Another victim of the west coast swing. Zero points. Not good. Rating: Hold
Nick Schultz (MO) - Has played well, but one defensive d-man does not an army make. Feel comfortable to continue to buy here. Rating: Buy
Greg Zanon (BLK) - Still out. Not even being discussed at this point. Even when healthy, he may not find a place in the lineup. Unless, of course, they keep playing like this. Rating: Sell
Kyle Brodziak (GLUE) - The third line continues to play well. If only they could each put up 80 points a season, too. Rating: Strong Buy
Cal Clutterbuck (HIT) - This one is difficult. Is he outplaying the team? Yes. Is he outplaying his expectations? No. So, you make the call. We're not comfortable either way. Rating: Hold.
Darroll Powe (POW) - Top penalty killer, and being given plenty of chances. The Sharks and Kings worked the whole team over pretty good, but Powe came out mostly unscathed. The analysts say to buy, but just barely. Rating:Buy
Josh Harding (BKUP) - And the reality sets in. Four goals against the Kings is not a good thing. Granted, most of those were not on him, but Yeo had little choice but to yank him. At least it wasn't a Todd Richards lucky seven. Rating: Buy
Marco Scandella (PZZA) - Missed most of the game with the Kings with an injury. This a huge loss for the Wild if it is long term. We'll wait to assess until we know more, but if he's coming back soon, buy in. Note: Early reports are it is a head injury. Sigh. Rating: Strong Buy
Colton Gillies (MBDY) - Became a bit invisible in the Sharks and Kings games. The third line stays one of the best, but we didn't hear much out of Gillies. He is a great indicator of the system. If it is working, you hear about Gillies. If not, not so much. Rating: Strong Buy
Clayton Stoner (STDY) - Still not back, and doesn't sound like it is imminent. Of course, with Scandella hurt, maybe that gets pushed up. The Wild could have used him on this road trip. Rating: Hold.
Jared Spurgeon (TINY) - Has gone quiet again after a short flirtation with being him again. Wild need his offense, and it's just not there. Rating: Hold
Justin Falk (FLKR) - A complete and total boneheaded move against the Sharks led to the first goal against. Turned his back on a play against the Kings and allowed Simon Gagne to walk in all alone while Falk did "battle" out front. Bad trip for him. Needs to pull it together against the big guns. Rating: Hold.
Nick Johnson (WAVE) - A flirtation with replacing Latendresse didn't last long. Bet on someone else seeing some top line minutes. Not saying he isn't good, but he certainly wasn't good enough. Rating: Buy
Nate Prosser (STIF) - Quiet, which is likely good. Not much to go on here. If he wants to stick, he's going to need to make his name heard a few times. Rating: Hold
Brad Staubitz (BTZY) - See Zidlicky, Makrek. Rating: Strong Sell
Wild Power Play (SUCC) - Right back in the toilet. Of course, not much of a chance with the number of penalties they are taking. Rating: Strong Sell
Matt Kassian (SHIN) - Sent back to Houston, Kassian will actually get to play now. We're still not sure why he was still here, to be honest. Go back, beat some people, Kass. You're welcome back anytime you can actually come to play. Rating: Hold
Brett Bulmer (JR) - Sent back to play against children, we're not sure what Chuck Fletcher was thinking here, but it is what it is. We're keeping the kid as a strong buy. Can't wait to see him back. Rating: Strong Buy