OK, I don't know if Heartbreak is the right word for it. I just selected it for the Valentine's Day theme. I think the fan base is too jaded after the lockout and early-season sputtering to truly have their hearts broken right now.
The Wild lost again. This time, they lost a winnable game, in a situation very favorable for winning (Up by 1 at home with 8:04 to go), against a team that a good team should beat. At least it was an overtime loss, but while it's nice to see them get a point in a loss instead of nothing, there was little reason for this team to not take the full two tonight. Too bad, they could have used it.
But it is what it is, and there's no magic bullet. Unless Fletcher trades Mikko Koivu, Niklas Backstrom, and Dany Heatley, of course, but that goes without saying. It'd be great if the Wild could trade them for Sidney Crosby, Derek Jeter, and Lance Armstrong. Those guys seem to know how to win.
Still, there were some good signs tonight. The top line remembered that they were Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, and Dany Heatley tonight, and played like it. Ryan Suter got his 8th point of the season and finished with his first +2 of the year. Despite still being out-muscled, Granlund created a few chances, one which led to a goal. And let's not forget that the Wild scored more than two goals for the first time since January 29th, so we got that to celebrate!
Anyway, there are some signs of it coming together, but it's getting to the point where we're almost 1/3rd of the way through the season. These signs need to become more than mere hints of what this team can be, and they need to manifest themselves in the results of the play soon if they want to become a playoff team.
On to the Walk!
Avalanche edges Wild 4-3 in shootout | StarTribune.com- Russo details the epic clash between the second and third worst offenses in hockey.
Yeo not happy after shootout loss to Avs; Clutterbuck hurt; Pens GM scouts game | StarTribune.com- Yeo happily has higher standards than I do.
Mental lapse in the 3rd comes back to bite the Wild in 4-3 shootout loss to Colorado- Recap from Derek. Good and detailed as always.
Hitting The Post: Post-Game Haiku Reax: Avalanche @ Wild, 2/14/13- These haikus are amazing, especially if you thought Bashō didn't utilize the word "penishead" frequently enough. There's also a 30 word recap.
Wild GM: ‘Our best days are ahead of us’- Chuck Fletcher chats it up with FSN. Mostly about Parise, Suter, the slow start, and the prospects.
New Wild exec Andrew Brunette: 'Retiring was a lot harder than I thought' - TwinCities.com- Bruce Brothers with a piece on Brunette joining the organization again.
Coyle demoted to Houston so Bouchard can play more | StarTribune.com- Wild notebook. Also includes the first line reuniting, and who got to eat a meal made by Scuba Steve on Saturday night.
Coyle returned to Houston for now; Kassian clears waivers; New lines for tonight | StarTribune.com- More on Coyle to Houston, which really does a great job breaking down why the team made that move.
Minnesota Wild: Power play coming up empty - TwinCities.com- Yaaaaaayyyyyyy! Can we trade them?
Systems Analyst: In which one nasty toe drag lulls a Wild forward to sleep | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- An interesting article that, once again, sadly is marred by the fact it's about the Wild messing up.
First Round Bust: Time To Put PMB On The Block- I like PMB, and his skills and overcoming of injuries have endeared him to me- he's one of my favorite Wild players ever. But this is probably true. Whether it's Seto or PMB, there's a logjam on the wings, and if replacing one of them with Coyle or Larsson or Zucker will make the team better, then it's time to see what the Wild can get in return for one of those players.
Tending the Fields
The Third Intermission: Matt Kassian and Charlie Coyle will join the Aeros in Rochester- TTI's quick reaction to today's boost to their squad.
Off the Trail
Erik Karlsson's devastating injury, the Ryan O'Reilly saga, and more hockey news from Week 4 in the NHL - Grantland- Katie Baker of Grantland gives a comprehensive breakdown of the week in hockey. And by the way- holy balls does the Karlsson injury suck.
Let’s just go ahead and do the whole mandatory visor thing, NHL | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- More from the crappy injury front- Manny Malhotra's potentially career-ending eye injury has prompted Justin Bourne to update and re-run a column on this. The fact that Malhotra's career might be over (to say nothing of Pronger's last year), and the fact that Kevlar socks could have averted Karlsson's injury, mean that protective equipment will probably come into focus soon, as it should. If we're talking player safety, let's talk all options, not just elbows to melons.
The five most disappointing teams of the NHL season so far | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- Hey look! A sad post the Wild aren't featured in!
Evander Kane and the race problem in Winnipeg | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- An interesting column on Evander Kane and some comments he made to The Hockey News
Guest Post: Confessions of a Zamboni operator | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- Some fun. I <3 Zambonis. I dream of driving a Zamboni, all over Saskatchewan.
See you next week, got my iPod working today, so The A/V Club will be back, too.
Enjoy your weekend!