Following along on Twitter and other social media platforms this week, there seems to be a growing disdain in the Wild fan community for the Phoenix Coyotes. It isn't focused, and it isn't loud, but it is there, and it is curious. Is there something out there that the Coyotes did or represent that we here at Hockey Wilderness are unaware of? Please, if you are a member of the "I hate the Yotes" community, speak up. We would love to hear why.
As for the game (yes, apparently they still exist), the Wild need to keep whatever semblance of momentum they have going. They sit four points behind Vancouver in the Northwest, two points ahead of the Flames, and are one point out of the playoff race. Of course, the difference between fourth and eleventh in the West right now is three points.
This just in: winning games is important.
The WIld are 5-4-1 in their last ten, something that is as unsurprising as it is unremarkable. Remember, other than Barry Melrose, most people (including us) had the Wild between a 6 and 8 seed in the West. That is going to come down to tie breakers, most likely, so the Wild are going to need to start winning games and start scoring goals.
The quest to win looks as though it begins with the same lineup as played against the Flames. Mike Yeo probably figures that a win is a win, and that changing things right now makes little sense. Maybe he figures the Flames are just a defensive hockey team and his lines have the capacity to score against a team that might open up a bit more.
Or, maybe it just really doesn't matter.
The Coyotes are one of three teams tied at 21 points and are ahead fo the Wild in the standings. They have an unremarkable team on paper, but they do this magic thing that the Wild can't seem to figure out. The technical term for it is "win," but in the real world, especially here in Minnesota, it is known as, "that thing other teams do."
It all comes down to execution. The Wild need to play their game, and stick to it for 60 minutes. Do that, they can win. As always, do not do that, and they will almost assuredly lose.
Your wisdom for the day: play hockey = win, don't play hockey = lose.
Enjoy the game, folks.