As we approach the holidays, things get dicey for the NHL. Injuries (you may know a team with some of those) and position in the standings lead GMs to start thinking about how to supplement their teams while still planning for the future. However, the NHL also has a roster freeze, meaning these trades aren't always easy to make.
On top of that, fans are distracted by shopping, family, food, and gifts. Finish that up with no games or travel December 24 & 25, and there can be a bit of a lull in the league this time of the year.
Not for the Wild. They are anything but heading into a lull as we hurdle toward Christmas. The coming week is not one to be forgotten as you recover from your eggnog headache and find new ways to tie children in a basement without alerting social services.
A look back, and forward, after the jump.
It seems cruel to look back, but there were some good signs mixed in with the madness. While the players dropped like flies, the games were, for the most part, intriguing. The loss to the Jets was one of the most exciting hockey games we have seen in years, even if it did pull the Wild out of their system. The shootout loss to the Blackhawks showed that next year is going to be a great deal of fun.
The shootout loss to the Isles was... well... forgettable. Moving on.
A week with some good signs, some good looks at players from Houston, and more examples of what this team can do, even when beat down.
The Week Ahead
Yet another ridiculous trip west gives us three games with late start times. Tonight against the Canucks, tomorrow against the Flames, and Thursday against the Oilers. Just what everyone wanted, another trip through Alberta. How fun.
With the roster set the way it is, how these games play out is anyone's guess. Jed Ortmeyer is up along with Chad Rau, and maybe Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Mikko Koivu find their way back into the lineup. Without the leaders of the team, any points gained are bonuses, yet Wild fans, and the players, expect victories. If they want them on this trip, role players and fill ins are going to need to step up and find ways to win.
Otherwise, we'll face a week of being told how much the Wild have regressed, all while the Aeros make up the roster. Whatever works.
Should be a fun week, folks. Anyone have any predcitions?