And so it continues...
Since we started these weekly looks at the schedule, a few things have become clear. Getting worked up a bout a win here or a loss there? Really not worth it. The other lesson is to never make a prediction. Ever. We predict they win all the games that week, they split. We say they won't win more than one, they win all three. So, we'll just stick to telling you what is happening.
Yeah right. Sure we will.
The Wild are in first place in the Northwest, first in the West, and first in the NHL. Things are certainly looking good, and we are early in the year. The players seem to understand where they are at, the coach is still not satisfied, and all of that adds up to a team looking to play better hockey than they are, all the while already atop the league. An interesting season, to b sure.
After the jump, our look back, and our look ahead.
Games against the Blue Jackets, Avalanche, and Blues could all have been pitfalls for the Wild. The Jackets have been a difficult opponent for the Wild to master in the past, the Avs are division rivals with a history of tight games, and the Blues were a surging team with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove.
The Wild beat them all. They weren't exactly easy wins, but wins none the less.
Coming out of Columbus with a win was big, since it capped off the road trip on a high note, and was a great response after getting throttled twice. The Avs game was the start to a big home stand, and the Blues game continued to set the pace on a budding rivalry, and shut up the Mikko Koivu detractors, if only for a game or two.
The past week was pretty good for the Wild. And it is all in the past. Time to move on.
The Week Ahead
With Thanksgiving coming up on Thursday (the real one), the Wild still find time to sandwich in three games this week. The first comes on Wednesday against the Nashville Predators. These games are always interesting, because the two teams play defensive minded hockey, and yet the games somehow almost always wind up with ridiculous scores. The Preds also happen to have one of the best goalies and d-corps in the league, so that one should be fun to watch, to be sure.
Everyone takes a day of thanks on Thursday, so be sure to give thanks for the things that matter the most in your life.
Returning to action on Friday, the Edmonton Oilers come to the X yet again, and have to be thinking revenge. As you all know, the Wild simply own the Oilers, and with the now longest home winning streak against any team belonging to the Wild against the Oil, there is more than pride on the line. With both teams fighting for the NW, and the Oilers wanting to prove they are owned by no one, this one will be fun.
Plus, it's on Black Friday, which means it gets you out of shopping.
Finally, on Sunday, the Calgary Flames come calling, looking for revenge from the Wild coming to their barn and making them look silly. The Flames aren't very good, and this could end up one of those game swhere the Wild over look an opponent. For their sake, let's hope that is not the case.
What it Means
The week ahead looks to be an entertaining one. With the Wild winning, fans have to feel comfortable these games are winnable, too. That gives everything a different feel, and makes things much more exciting. The first place Minnesota Wild make be an aberration, or they may be the real thing. Our suggestion? Occupy the X and find out.