How to respond in one simple step.
Your Minnesota Wild sit atop the Northwest division, and third in the conference. All this despite the loss to the Sharks, and the embarrassment in LA. All this despite the "worst defense in the league." All this despite losing two of the top players on the team, and some inconsistent play from the entire team.
Is this an aberration and the Wild are headed for a massive fall? The stat heads seem to think so. You know how much faith we put in the stats, though. There remains no stat to show what Coach Yeo did yesterday, pulling his team out of a tailspin and putting them back on track. Show me the stat that shows that, and we'll open discussions. Until that happens, we'll put our faith in the one stat that matters: points.
After the jump, a look at the week that was, and the week that will be.
Four games last week, none of which looked more impressive than last night. The Flames game was a debacle that the Wild were lucky to win, let alone dominate. It was the start of a march to the penalty box that wouldn't end until it had already cost the Wild two games. Funny how good teams make you pay for taking penalties, isn't it? Not so much funny "ha ha" as much as funny "I feel like jabbing a spoon into my eye."
There was the mysterious head butt on Jarome Iginla. There was Guillaume Latendresse being driven face first into the boards with no call, yet Nick Johnson getting a major penalty for boarding for something that didn't even qualify as a penalty. There was the concussions to Latendresse and now Marco Scandella. There was a look at the human Josh Harding. All in all, the week ended with the Wild 2-2-0 on the road trip, with a chance to bring home more points than they lost, and short two key players. A wash? You tell me.
Injuries happen, and the recent string of injuries is about as bad as it can get. How they respond will be key. Always with the response.
The Week Ahead
The Wild are en route to Columbus to finish out the road trip. A win sends them home on a winning and in the driver's seat in the division. The Blue Jackets are not good. They are flat out bad. Again, the stat heads tell me otherwise, but they're bad. Three wins on the season bad. Still, the Jackets own the Wild, and the Wild need to ditch that ownership. Stop. Rick. Nash.
The Wild then come home for an always fun matchup against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. They Avs are not as bad as they should be, and the festivities are always feisty with the Avs in town. This is the first meeting of the two teams this season, so the Wild get their first look at Semyon Varlamov and his "traded for a lottery pick" credentials. Should be fun.
Finally, on Saturday, the Blues are back. Things ended a little, well, angry after the last contest. There should be some physicality to be found and enough back story to satisfy everyone. The last time the Blues stopped by, they fired their coach. What happens if they lose again? They fire the camera guy?
Another week begins, Wilderness. This one with a first place Minnesota Wild team. What you got for the current week?