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Wilderness Walk: 10-9-2013

The Wild are still looking for their first win of the season.

Really? We let Eric Nystrom beat us?! ERIC NYSTROM?!?!
Really? We let Eric Nystrom beat us?! ERIC NYSTROM?!?!
Frederick Breedon

The Wild, yet again, lost another game they should have won.

And this time, they don't even have a point to show for it.

After striking first with a power play goal by Zach Parise, they decided to follow that up by giving the Predators a 5-on-3 because of... reasons? The Nashville Predators scored two goals on that power play, and the game was pretty much done with when, of all people, Eric Nystrom got a penalty shot* on a play that knocked Niklas Backstrom out of the game. And again, of all people, Eric Nystrom potted his penalty shot against Josh Harding, and that was it. Spurgeon scored a too-little-too-late power play goal to get it within one, but other than that: BLERGH.

The Wild are now 0-1-2. And while that's not the worst thing in the world, as the Wild still have 79 games to make the playoffs and have appeared to dictate possession in every game for the most part, concerns will definitely start creeping in. With Peter Laviolette fired for an 0-3 start, you have to start wondering at what point the Wild are going to start looking at making a coaching change with Mike Yeo? I hope it's not soon, as I don't think that you can really point to him for these losses. In fact, when you look at a power play that is clicking on more than one line, and the fact that the Wild are possessing the puck, you can see good progress with this team.

But when you're a coach on the hot seat, the only progress most people care about is in the "W" department, and that's what the Wild are short on right now. My guess is that he makes it to Thursday's game against the Jets, but the Wild have to step it up, and quick, if they want to see their head coach retain his job.

*I didn't see the penalty shot play, so I can't confirm whether it was an atrocious call or not, but at this point, I don't care. Win the game.

Wild News

Game Recaps

Backstrom hurt as Wild lose in Nashville | Star Tribune- Not mentioned above, but yes, Backstrom is injured right now. The specifics aren't yet known at the time of this writing, nor is the length of time he's expected to be missing, but we'll get that info to you as soon as possible. As you saw tonight, Harding is a capable goaltender, even if there are health concerns. Darcy Kuemper has done nothing but impress at every level he's played at, so I'm not panicking yet, even if Backstrom misses, say, a month. Perhaps an update will come in the post-game blog?

Penalties doom Wild in 3-2 loss to Nashville, Backstrom injured to make for a painful evening- When you start feeling too down, you can always scroll down to the end and find out that 2013 5th-round draft pick Dylan Labbe has 6 points in his first 7 games at the Q. That's good, right?

Hitting The Post: Post-Game Drunk Haiku Reax: Wild @ Perdators, 10/8/13- In case you need your haiku fix.

Other News

Nashville coach asked fans to boo Suter in his return | Star Tribune- Only 12 more years of this left, barring the earth crashing into the sun, Suter retiring or being traded in the next 11 years, or the complete collapse of society.

Ryan Suter boooooed by teammates during morning skate | Russo's Rants | That's a cute story that's made cuter if the Wild win the game.

Minnesota Wild need Jason Zucker to step up in Charlie Coyle's absence - It's true the Wild need him to step up. Step up he did not.

Minnesota Wild want Dany Heatley to play faster - Them and every other Wild fan right now.

Andrew Brunette and the Minnesota Wild Power Play- The bright spot for the Minnesota Wild right now: Whatever the power play is doing right now, it's working.

Tending the Fields

First Round Bust: FRB Top 20 Prospects: #2...Jason Zucker- First Round Bust turns it attention to Jason Zucker, who made his 2013-14 debut today. Played a very quiet 13 minutes.

Off the Trail

The Weekend in Hockey: Three Games in, Philly Makes a Change - The Triangle Blog - Grantland- Down Goes Brown looks at Laviolette's firing, and more.

Lots of questions about the Laviolette firing | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | In case you didn't hear enough about this yesterday morning.

Which NHL coaches are next on the firing line? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- One more thing, RE: Yeo's job: Fletcher is on a hot seat to keep his job, too. A lot of people thought at the time of Yeo's hiring that it was going to be the last head coaching hiring that Fletcher was going to be able to make. If Fletcher is going to make a change, he has to do it in-season, and is likely to do it sooner rather than later as to prevent the Wild from falling out of the race. Of course, this will all be made irrelevant if Fletcher's confidence in Yeo isn't shaken, but it's something to think about.

Roberto Luongo vs. Cory Schneider: Looking back at hockey’s goaltending soap opera | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- Both of them handled it really well, though. It's too bad that Schneider is stuck playing in the shadow, though perhaps not necessarily as a backup, to Marty Freaking Brodeur.

Islanders ready to go the distance after breakthrough season | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- It would be a cool story to see the Islanders make real waves in the playoffs.

Jussi Jokinen gets hat trick vs Canes team that waived, traded him | ProHockeyTalk- And is paying him 900,000 dollars to do that, too! Worth every penny!

Larsson frustrated Devils are scratching him — again | ProHockeyTalk- Sounds to me like someone should have drafted Jonas Brodin! #UMADBROdin?