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Tragic Numbers

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I am not certain how many people who read this blog also read Puck Daddy, but for those of you who don't, I am going to use a couple of things from him today to illustrate a point.

I started getting emails from friends and readers a few days ago, asking what the chances of the Wild making the playoffs were. When I told them slim to none, I would bet that 90% of the replies came back with the "You are so wrong blogger boy" kind of vibe to them. So many people out there want so badly for this team to do well, that oh so many of them have lost their sense of objectivity.

Join me after the jump, and we'll take a look at the numbers.

Poll after poll has shown that Wild fans blame the entire situation on Doug Risebrough. Hell, even our friends in New York are capable of seeing that riser is the issue. EJ Hradek on NHL Live has called for Risebrough's head as well. Yet somehow, in the emails I receive I keep getting told that Risebrough is not to blame, that he is doing the best he can with what he has.

Yeah, not so much. He has a building that sells out every night, one of the hottest selling sets of merchandise in the league, and rabid fans willing to spend their children's college funds to attend a game. Yet somehow, Risebrough uses all of that money to sign mediocre players and not pay any scouts to find draft picks capbale of playing at an NHL level.

Now that I have my reader base up in arms over Risebrough, it is time for the misdirection that saves me from being hanged.

The Wild cannot and will not make the playoffs. It is nearly a statistical impossibility at this point. Believe what you will. Pray to what ever God you deem worthy, but the hockey gods are not smiling upon the Wild this season.

Here are the numbers I promised.

The Wild have a "tragic number" of 7. What is a tragic number you may ask. Anyone know what a "magic number" is? Well, this is exactly the opposite. The Wild have 7 points to play with before being eliminated from the playoffs on paper.

Here's how it works. If the Wild fail to earn, or the team in eight place earns, those seven points in any combination, the Wild are out. The Wild have 5 games, and a possiblity of 10 points in those games. Leaving them a three point cushion. The two teams currently sitting 7th and 8th also have 5 games let, meaning they have ten possible points each as well. Add it up, you have 30 points sitting out there. The Wild only have 7 to play with.

Seeing things just a little clearer yet? No? OK, how about this little chart from Puck Daddy:

Team

Place/Record/Pts.

Tragic #

% Chance of 7th

% Chance of 8th

St. Louis Blues

9th/37-30-9/83

11

27

25

Minnesota Wild

10th/36-32-9/81

7

4

10

Edmonton Oilers

11th/36-32-9/81

7

3

7

Dallas Stars

12th/34-33-10/78

4

0

0

Los Angeles Kings

13th/31-34-11/73

1

-

0

 

The Wild have a 10% chance of making it to the eight spot. I know how lethally loyal Wild fans are, I am one. However, at some point, you need to start accepting reality so that your soul is not crushed in the implosion.

A side note, Hockey Joe has them at 8.4%. I am not sure how either of these numbers were obtained, but both are bleak, so let's just leave it at that.

I want to believe they can do it, I really do. I have been covering this team for too long to think it is even a remote possibility. The 10% chance given by Wysh is only on paper. The likelihood of the Wild making the playoffs is much, much less than that.

They play Calgary (0W - 5L), Detroit (1W-2L), Dallas (0W - 3L), Nashville (1W- 2L), Columbus (2W - 1L) to round out the year. The Wild have a combined four wins in 17 games against these teams this season. I can already hear the hope welling up inside those die hards I have been dealing with for the past week.

"See," they will say. "The Wild play Columbus to finish the season, and they have played well against them this year. They also beat Detroit at home earlier this year, the boys beat Calgary late last season despite a horrid record against them, and Nashville is Nashville. The Wild can and will be in, mark my words."

To that I simply say: "Bah."

This team has not shown an ability to win when they need to. They have shown no ability to put together the type of winning streak it would take, and they have not shown the ability to grasp the concept that the season is only so long and they need to play every game like it is their last.

Russo says there are players on the team who do not seem to care. He says that is why he likes Owen Nolan and Mikko Koivu, because when the team loses, you know it, you know it because they are upset. They care. I hope for the sake of the number of fans that have called me out for being critical of this team, that those players find a way to pull their heads out of the orifice on the back side of their bodies and find a way to care. There are 18568 people sitting right in front of you, and countless thousands more outside the building that care so much that their world is going to be crushed.

How are players who don't care all season long suddenly going to find a way to care with five game left?

For those of you that have been emailing me, and will no doubt continue after this post, put on your crash helmet and seat belt. We're headed for the wall you refuse to see.

At least Bemijdi State still gets to play.

-Buddha