In today's power rankings (man I love these things) over at CNN SI, our favorite blow hard, Adrian Dater (no doubt reluctantly) ranked the Wild at 7th in the league. Not a bad placement at all, especially considering the source, right? Sure. However, the problem with power rankings isn't usually with the rankings themselves as much as the reasoning behind those rankings.
While the rankings are almost always some sort of bastardization of the standings, with a couple teams flopped for irritation's sake, the writer's explanation is almost, without fail, where the real comedy begins. Dater's reasoning for the Wild at seven?
That, and some... constructive criticism... after the jump.
After back-to-back losses, they grounded the Lightning in an ugly 1-3-1 snoozer on Monday night. (Aren't you glad you chose that one, O ye Versus schedule-makers?) While some cracks are beginning to show in rookie coach Mike Yeo's team, these guys are probably the league's most surprising squad. Goalie Niklas Backstrom continues to post impressive numbers (8-5-2, 2.09 GAA, 0.932 save pct.) and center Mikko Koivu got a couple of points in the win over Tampa Bay. When/if Koivu really gets going, the Wild could be legit. Last week: 2-2-0
Yes, Wild and Bolts fans, last night's game, ripe with end to end action, several breakaways, some outstanding goaltending from Niklas Backstrom, and a goal on a two on one break from the game's best offensive player that was simply filthy... all of that was enough to help Mr. Dater avoid his daily Nyquil dose necessary to overcome his incessant whining and be able to fall asleep.
I swear this guy could watch a 9-8 final between the Habs and Blackhawks in Game Seven on the Stanley Cup Finals and still find a reason to say it lacked offense and was boring.
Mr. Dater is likely just mad the off ice officials didn't credit Cal Clutterbuck with two goals on his shorthanded goal (always a boring thing to watch a team score down a man) so he could write an 18 paragraph column ripping Clutterbuck for padding his stats again.
Of course, this, from a guy whose job consists mostly of writing articles lighting up the team he covers, oh so objectively, calling the game "terrible," "awful," and "three hours you and I will never get back." All that before going on to wish for a Patrick Roy type temper tantrum in the locker room afterwards:
Meanwhile, I don't detect nearly enough anger in the Avs' dressing room after nights like tonight. Talk about a contrast between the Avs of now and the past: remember when Patrick Roy smashed up two TVs and a VCR in the office of Bob Hartley in 1999, in Anaheim? That came after a game the Avs WON (though Roy didn't get credit for the win).
Instead, it's just another home loss - home record now is 4-9-0 - and all the Avs players seemed to do was let out a collective yawn afterward. If Patrick Roy were still on this team, the entire locker room might have been trashed tonight.
Maybe he just has a thing about 3-1 finals?
Your lessons of the day, courtesy of Mr. Dater:
1. When writing power rankings, or any other article for that matter, about a game you did not watch, simply parrot the same tripe about trap teams and boring hockey you have espoused in the past. Never, under any circumstances, admit that the game may actually have been entertaining. After all, you'll never find yourself on one of those ESPN shows, bickering with other moronic sportswriters about crap no one cares about if you admit a hockey game between the "bad for the game, passive 1-4 forecheck playing" Minnesota Wild and a team in the sunbelt with the most dynamic player in the game could ever be exciting.
2. Temper tantrums and destruction pf property is the best way to motivate a team. Especially one that has such a vibrant and exciting beat writer covering it.