Summing up the week for the Minnesota Wild.
There is an eerie similarity between today's date, and the day the world is to end according to the Mayans. We bring this up, not because we think the Mayans are right, but because the season is all but over for the Wild. There. It has been said.
Look back at the past three years and remember what we told you then. With a team sitting in 12th place after game 55, the options are limited. Yes, it is only four points. Two games. Now start to think that those two games need to be won by the Wild, and lost by four other teams. All this in a league with a charity point that only becomes more frequently awarded as the season progresses.
Four points may as well be twelve at this point. There are no answers to be had, and from our perspective it certainly appears that the Minnesota Wild will become the first team in history to sit atop the NHL in mid December and wind up missing the playoffs.
That's the safe bet right now, anyway. Stranger things have happened, but investments generally aren't made hoping strange things happen.
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) - Back on the ice, back performing well. Leading a team of players who have quit on themselves, their coach, each other, and their fans. As painful a rating as there can be, but we hope a fair one. Rating: Hold
Dany Heatley (HETR) - This guy continues to get grief despite being the only player consistently shooting the puck. He is not Dany Heatley the 50 goal scorer, but he is still a threat. Rating: Buy.
Devin Setoguchi (GUCH) - Fans and media questioning his game, Setoguchi has seen a resurgence with the return of Koivu, and the return of the Setoguchi - Koivu - Heatley line. The recent past cannot be ignored just yet, however. Long stretches of not contributing are not good for a player in his role. Rating: Hold
Niklas Backstrom (BAX) - As Chief Market Analyst Mike Bennett mentioned, Backstrom is clearly not getting the message. The Wild have given him at least one goal to work with in the past six games, and yet Backstrom cannot seem to give up zero. Clearly not getting it. In all seriousness, Backstrom is the only player on the ice doing his job night in and night out. Rating: Buy
Marek Zidlicky (ZHID) - Attitude, lack of production, public airing of grievances outside of Festivus... Rating: Strong Sell.
Matt Cullen (TWI) - Many fans are questioning Cullen, and with reason. Once again, Cullen has had a hot start and completely cooled as the season winds on. He is still a leader on this team. Time for the points to start going on the board. Rating: Hold
Guillaume Latendresse (BTE) - Still out. Sounds like he won't be back. Rating: Hold
Pierre-Marc Bouchard (BALD) - Out. Likely for the season and beyond. Rating: Hold.
Nick Schultz (MO) - When a team begins losing, everyone is in question. The problems of the Minnesota Wild are not solved by Nick Schultz. If people are waiting for Schultz to score, there are bigger issues on the table. Schultz is doing just fine. Rating: Buy
Greg Zanon (BLK) - Rode out his scratches with professionalism. Worked to get back in the line up, and has played well since his return. Heck, he even scored a goal. Rating: Hold
Kyle Brodziak (GLUE) - He's still Kyle Brodziak. Contract talks are underway. There are no knocks to be had here, but there also are no celebrations. Rating: Hold
Cal Clutterbuck (HIT) - Clutterbuck is the only player showing the emotion expected of players in the situation they are in. The frustration is evident, his anger palpable. In certain situations, slamming and banging around would be seen as a temper tantrum. In this situation, we see it as the only guy showing he cares. Rating: Buy.
Darroll Powe (POW) - Powe is doing his job. He isn't doing it overly well, nor particularly poorly. It doesn't seem like the defensive forwards are the problem right now. Rating: Hold
Josh Harding (BKUP) - Hasn't played since the collapse against Nashville. After the week the Wild had, you have to think Harding gets a chance this week. If Harding in on the roster after February 27th, that would be a real shame. Too many teams looking for goalies, and no chance for the Wild to win a Cup, he has to be moved. Rating: Hold
Mike Lundin (WHO) - Long stretch of scratches, returned to the ice and looked pretty good. We need more data at this point. Rating: Hold
Clayton Stoner (STDY) - Hurt. Rating: Hold
Jared Spurgeon (TINY) - Solid play, still little offense. At this point, we aren't convinced the offense is ever going to show up. Still, the defense is more than enough to make up for it. Rating: Hold
Justin Falk (FLKR) - Justin Falk is here to stay, best we can tell. He's playing well, and playing physical. Exactly what he needs to do. Rating: Buy
Nick Johnson (BWCE) - Things have cooled for Johnson a bit, but he is still one of the top forecheckers on the team, and is solid on D. Again, the guys like Nick Johnson are not the problem. Rating: Strong Buy
Matt Kassian (SHIN) - Back up, and likely for good, Kassian is being asked to be more than just a goon. He has been handed Staubitz's role. It is now up to him to keep it. Rating: Hold
Nate Prosser (STIF) - Just signed a one way, two year deal. Prosser is, for better or worse, one of the best puck movers the Wild have. His role will be scrutinized by fans, and most won't get it, but Prosser being around is good for this team. Rating: Buy
Jarod Palmer (HOPE) - Injured. Concussion. Go figure. Rating: Hold
Warren Peters (FIX) - Heavy reliance on guys like Warren Peters is not a good sign for the team. The fact that he doesn't look out of place is. Rating: Hold
Carson McMillan (JHNY) - Another player who is doing his job, but is not standing out at it. Nothing wrong with that. Rating: Hold
Wild Power Play (SUCC) - Looking for the problem that, if solved, would make this team better? This is it. The Wild power play is a joke beyond jokes. Rating: Strong Sell
Erik Christensen (NVIS) - Fans are exctied about this trade, and they can be. Out job is to provide a valuation. We see little value here. Be cautious. Rating: Hold
Brad Staubitz (BTZY) - Placed on waivers, unclaimed by 29 teams, and sent to Houston. We hate to say we told you so, but... Rating: Strong Sell
Chad Rau (CAKE) - Back in Houston. Rating: Hold.
Jed Ortmeyer (ORTS) - Served his purpose, back in Houston. Rating: Hold
Marco Scandella (PZZA) - Sent down to regain some confidence, Scandella needs to do just that. Quickly. Rating: Hold
Colton Gillies (MBDY) - Enjoy Columbus, good sir. Rating: Hold
Jon DiSalvatore (AERO) - Up for a gme, then back to Houston. Thanks for stopping by. Rating: Hold
Matthew Hackett (HACK) - Returned to Houston. A bright future for this kid. Rating: Strong Buy
Jeff Taffe (GOPH) - Great few games for Taffe. He'll be back. Rating: Buy
Paul Deutsch (FREE) - You gotta love the story. A 51 year old small business owner gets inked for a one day deal to serve as an emergency backup until Matt Hackett can get to St. Paul. He didn't make it into a game, but the story alone is worth a million bucks, easy. #FreeDeutsch Rating: Strong Buy
Kris Fredheim (PUPY) - Sent back to Houston, but certainly proved himself a capable replacement should the Wild need him. 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
Cody Almond (JOY) - Unimpressive in his stint with the Wild. Hate to say it, but it may almost be time for him to move on. Rating: Hold