And the hits just keep on coming. Another first period, another game in which the Wild seem to have left their brains in the locker room and quickly find themselves down 2-0. Each goal was more embarrassing than the previous. Neutral zone turnovers, defensive lapses, Czech superstars who show less interest in their own end of the ice less than Slovak superstars, Slovak Superstars who apparently left their paper mache groin for Czech superstars to use while here (Yes, Martin Havlat is day to day with a groin injury. I'm getting my "Told You So" post all ready). It's all bad right now for the Wild, and there are no signs of improvement.
This team is in complete disarray. Is it the new system? Is it fundamentals? Is it the lack of a captain? Lack of talent? Lack of heart? Bad coaching? Bad attitudes? Well, let's ask Russo:
Tonight wasn’t about a team in transition. Tonight was about a team that in the first period couldn’t win a puck battle, couldn’t make a play in the offensive zone and was just mindless at times in its own zone, and especially in the neutral zone.
Yeah. That sums it up for me. This is a team lost, adrift in a sea of NHLers who know what the hell they're supposed to do when they take the ice. The beginning of this season has not been a problem of learning a new system, it's a problem of craptastic fundamentals, and things need to change in a hurry. We can handle the growing pains, we can't handle a team that doesn't try, then when they do they f*&k it all up.
I don't even know what to say. There are bad stretches, then there are stretches when you are done with the game and can't figure out why you bother watching, then there are the ones you watch for 15 minutes then shut off the TV because it's not just one thing going badly, it's virtually everything on the ice, and the coach is seething on the bench and the players are going through the motions and you wonder if the players all need to be arrested for theft, because they aren't earning NHL paychecks right now.
Onto Edmonton. Hopefully Richards throws someone through a wall.
Go over to Anaheim Calling to see what they have to say about it.
Hockey Wilderness Three
Questions to Answer
- Can Sheppard and Pouliot pick up their play, especially since the team needs them more than ever? Nope. Sheppard was inconsistent and Pouliot was Pouliot.
- Can Nathan Smith and Andy Hilbert provide anything? Richards liked their effort. Guess there's something to be said for heart.
- Do the new d-pairings shore-up the blue line? Can't pin this entirely on the defense, and Nick Schultz was a +2 on the evening.
- Do the Wild dig themselves another hole? Yes, that's precisely what they did. This team is a mental midget right now.
- Will the Ryans strike again? Anaheim certainly can be fun to watch when they're pushing it, and the three Ryans are having fun against the Wild.