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An attempt at perspective

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Perspective is defined as

noun
noun: perspective
  1. 1.
    the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point.
    "a perspective drawing"
    • a picture drawn in perspective, especially one appearing to enlarge or extend the actual space, or to give the effect of distance.
    • a view or prospect.
      plural noun: perspectives
      synonyms: view, vista, panorama, prospect, bird's-eye view, outlook, aspect
      "a perspective of the whole valley"
    • Geometry
      the relation of two figures in the same plane, such that pairs of corresponding points lie on concurrent lines, and corresponding lines meet in collinear points.
  2. 2.
    a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
    "most guidebook history is written from the editor's perspective"
    synonyms: outlook, view, viewpoint, point of view, POV, standpoint, position, stand, stance, angle, slant, attitude, frame of mind, frame of reference, approach, way of looking, interpretation
    "her perspective on things had changed"


Let's make no bones: the Wild have been playing terribly. some of the worst hockey they've played since 1995... perhaps worse than that year (no, I'm not misremembering, that's the joke).

First, the good news. The Wild are in the playoffs right now. They have a full standings point (1) over the 2nd Wild Card team, and 3 over the next team in line. The better news is that the Wild have games-in-hand on just about everyone in the conference. Now, those 4+ games in hand aren't enough to catch St. Louis (the team above them in the conference standings), but it's still good news. In addition, the Wild still have more than 30 games left in the regular season: plenty of time for a trade to spark a reaction, or for the team to simply just start playing better.

The Wild are healthy! For once, they're not dealing with major injuries to their star players. Some will see that as a negative, but it's definitely good: the team has all the tools they need to play better.

The Bad News:

Just about everything else. The Wild are trash. Unmitigated, unimpressive trash. The players aren't playing well, the coaches aren't coaching well, and dare I say it, Fletcher isn't GM-ing well.The Powerplay is about as anemic as it has ever been, and even more infuriating, the Wild isn't changing their approach, for all the talk of them doing just that. The Wild have the 11th-worst CF% in the league at 5v5... the worst it's been in the regular season since 2011-12.

Meanwhile, on the penalty kill, who would you guess had the most time on the ice besides Devan Dubnyk? If you guessed Thomas Vanek, congratulations, you're correct.

Jarret Stoll is, for some reason, still being iced for an average of almost 11 minutes per game at 5v5, the worst on the team of all guys who have played more than a few games. It's true his zone starts have been about as bad as you can get... but that's what he was brought in to do; be an effective defensive player and penalty killer.

On that note, Stoll's penalty killing has been mediocre at the absolute best. While shorthanded, of all players who have killed more than 5 minutes of penalties, Stoll allows scoring chances at a higher rate than everyone except Ryan Carter, Mikko Koivu, and Charlie Coyle. Jason Zucker, Chris Porter, Granlund(!), Fontaine, and Haula have all been more effective at preventing scoring chances than Stoll.

In Jarret's defense, he was also brought in to win faceoffs, which he's done well. He's winning 54.46% of faceoffs; only Koivu has won more of his facoffs. At the same time, both Graovac and Haula have been over 50%.. and clearly Stoll's faceoff wins aren't all that effective, or he'd be preventing more scoring chances than he is.

The powerplay is about as bad as it has been, and yet Yeo isn't changing things. The Wild and fans scream for more shooting, yet the Wild's most offensive and shot-minded players are left on the bench. Last night, in 6 minutes of powerplay, Dumba had less time than Pominville, Nino, Vanek, Granlund, Parise, Suter, and Spurgeon. Don't get me wrong, I love Spurgeon, but Dumba is built for the powerplay... his lack of use is bewildering at best.

You may note one other name missing from that list: Jason Zucker. That's because Zucker played 0:00 on the powerplay last night. In a world where the Wild's offense is in a slump, sitting your speediest player who drives to the net hardest on the bench on a powerplay is simply unacceptable.

Meanwhile, on the penalty kill, who would you guess had the most time on the ice besides Devan Dubnyk? If you guessed Thomas Vanek, congratulations, you're correct. To be correct: Thomas Vanek, Marco Scandella, Mikko Koivu, and Jonas Brodin each had just over a minute on the penalty kill.

I love Thomas Vanek, I think he's one of the more underrated players on the team (by fans). He is not a penalty killer. Meanwhile, Justin Fontaine, Mikael Granlund, and Erik Haula had 0:00 on the penalty kill. There's one word for these deployments, and it is inexcusable.

This situation cannot be completely Yeo's fault; the players are not playing well, deployments be damned. But he is doing himself zero favors, and the Wild cannot rely on Fletcher to trade out of a slump every year; the WIld's cabinet is already almost completely barren, and the team has no more to give.

Again: for all these problems, the Wild are still in control of their own destiny. They need to snap out of whatever funk they are in (and fast) but it is doable. It's not yet time to #PANIC. But it's getting close.