With the Dive for Top Five fully engaged, and a unique success thus far, we would like to clarify our position here at Hockey Wilderness. We have seen a couple comments suggesting we are being negative and wishing the worst for the team, etc. This could not be further from the truth.
The Dive for Top Five is all about long term thinking, something sports fans are remarkably inept at. A top pick makes the team better long, and cost them nothing. It sucks to watch, it is painful to be a part of, but in the long run, it is what is best. The team is not going to make the playoffs, so why win one too many games and pick 10th?
The position here at Hockey Wilderness is that this is a no lose (no win?) situation. If they win, that's great. It is always fun to watch the team do well, and the guys in the room deserve that. If they lose, so be it. Losses help the Dive, and make the team better for years to come. Wins make the current team happy, and the fans get a needed injection of pride.
Either way, we understand completely. This isn't about wishing them the worst, but simply being realistic and knowing that next year is a new season, and this season is lost. May as well be some sort of benefit out of it.
Two games, two losses. Neither overly embarrassing. That's what the Dive for Top Five is all about. In addition, the Wild moved up two spots in the draft. Nicely done.
The coming days could be painful for many reasons. Tonight, the Wild start the week against the mighty Canucks. Shockingly, Roberto Luongo (and his small sample size) will not start. This one will likely not be pretty, but Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom return, with Harding getting the start. Good to see them back and playing. Hopefully they got them memo.
The Sedins and company are likely out for a round of practice, so the biggest result we can hope for is that nothing stupid happens.
Thursday, the homestand ends with another visit from a team from Alberta. Wonderful. It is, at least, the last Alberta game this season. Finally. No one cares. Moving on.
The Wild then head East for an interesting back to back against the Buffalo Sabres and Washington Capitals. How those games shake out is anyone's guess. The Caps are not a very good team this season (relatively speaking), but both the Sabres and Caps still have some solid dreams of making the playoffs.
Playing teams out east means early starts, and playing games against teams you don't get to see often. So... there's that.
Tough to find the silver lining right now. Let's just hope for no splash on the Dive for Top Five. Reminder - after this week, there will be just seven games remaining.