Maybe you haven't heard recently, but the Wild have not been playing particularly well as of late. They aren't defending effectively, and their offense is less productive than... well something that is really unproductive. We've seen back-half surges previously in the Wild's history... the past three years, for instance. Fans are left to hope for one again this season.
This Saturday: "Hockey Day Minnesota" is a chance for them to do that. It is a celebration of the sports' history in the state, and that will result in a fanbase that is ready to cheer them on (from afar) and forgive the past month+ of poor play. The fans are ready for the Wild to turn their season around. The question at this point is: are the Wild ready to do the same?
This Saturday is a chance for the Wild to take their season by the horns and turn it around. Not only is it a more important game because it is HDM, but because of their opponent as well.
The St. Louis Blues, a consistently tough opponent for the Wild to play, sit in third in the conference. Functionally, the Wild need the win to work their way back into the playoffs and improve their place in the standings. Metaphysically, the Wild need the win to firm their psyche. The poor play has been taxing on the Wild's standings, and it's been taxing on their soul. Good players are second-guessing themselves, coaches are seemingly lost in a search for answers, and the Wild are adrift. A win against a divisional rival could help change all that.
Will a win on HDM change everything? No. But it is a starting point, a chance for the Wild to take their awful 2016 and start turning it into a successful year.
The ball (or puck), however, is in the team's court (err, rink).