Well, the Wild are officially free, free fallin’ (make sure you sing it like Tom Petty). That will help you hold back the tears of shame that this team is brining to us on a nightly basis at this point. It’s hard to keep positive right now and since the All-Star break, I’ve found myself holding back from saying much about this team since it’s been nothing but negative, so why add to it? Let’s just take a minute to discuss a few random things. We can call it the “passed mid-season smorgasbord”. Spoiler alert, it turns very negative.
Is it safe to say we are wasting a true talent here in Minnesota? This might have been a preposterous statement last year or even to begin this season. Many believe that Parise could be on the down sing of his career (which he technically is) but believed he would never be the player he once was or even lead this team in points. The 2018-2019 season has been a bounce back year for Zach and hands down the Wild’s MVP, no one comes close. Poor Parise is having an excellent year but because of the complete inept ability of the rest of the squad, he will waste another year of his career with a floundering and mediocre disaster of a franchise. That might be really harsh, but I’m really angry right now.
On behalf of the Wild fans around this state, we apologize. We are sorry we have roasted you for signing the contract that we use as a scapegoat for when the team fails. It’s not your salary that has plagued this team, it’s the moving parts around you that continue to fail. If it wasn’t for you, the Wild don’t have a playoff streak of 6 seasons or whatever it is. I know it’s never amounted to anything more than 6 or 7 playoff series, but you helped put the Wild on the map, we appreciate it. We sure as hell won’t come out and say it, that’s not the Minnesota way, I’m sure you understand that. My suggestion, if the team is willing to part ways with you somehow, take it! No need to try and bring us a Stanley Cup any longer, it won’t happen with the what we have left that makes up this roster. Please go to a winning team that will actually get your name on the Cup. We will always love you as the Minnesota boy that came home to try and win one for this hungry fan base but because the rest of the “talent” around you seems to have the mental stability of a two-year-old, it just won’t happen.
On the Brightside Parise is finally getting to play with legit players again. Legit might be an over exaggeration, let’s call them decent players. It’s got to be far better to play with essentially anyone over Victor Rask, so I guess that’s a plus. Keep your head up Zach, eventually the Wild will implode to the point where they have no choice but to offer you to a contender, while having to pay some of your salary and I’m ok with that.
A part of me died a little bit when I heard the news about his season ending knee injury. I’ve always been in the Mikko camp and will defend against the haters until the day he officially retires. Hate the contract, hate the lack of offense of production but understand he means more to this team than we know. Clearly, it shows. With no real depth at center, he leaves a giant void and the Wild don’t have the answer on roster to fill that. I believe when Koivu went down with the injury, the season went down with it.
My only hope is this gives Joel Eriksson Ek the more playing time that he needs to at least show us something. Since Mikko’s injury, JEE has 2 goals and 1 assist in those 4 games. Can’t complain about that from a guy that we’ve been waiting for to show up on a nightly basis. It’s miniscule sample size but it’s positive none the less. JEE might not ever be a top line center but we weren’t going to figure it out with him playing the 4th line. I guess the silver lining in the injury to Koivu is the possible emergence of JEE. Much like most of our prospects, I pray that he turns into something. And much like most of our prospects, it probably won’t happen.
Sense of Urgency
In a recent matchup against the suddenly hot Philadelphia Flyers, it was mentioned they are playing with a sense of urgency to just try and keep their hopes alive in the race for a playoff spot. They are a desperate team and play like it. So, when are the Wild going to do such a thing? When does the sense of urgency kick in? I’m guessing they are completely content with just hanging on for dear life to the final wild card spot in the West. The G.D. Blues and Blackhawks are going to pass this team up on the standings and they are awful, like had to fire head coaches in the middle of the season, awful. Never mind, the Blues have already officially passed the Wild. Well eff…
I would say let’s just tank it and hope for a higher draft pick but we all know what happens then, we will draft another bust that plays 15 games in the NHL and is a career minor leaguer. It’s the same old song and dance. Am I being too negative? I once was a positive person and usually would see the bright side of things. Nope, this black hole of a team is darkening my soul. Thanks, Wild.
Blow. It. Up.
I was never in favor of this route until this season. Maybe I’m just saying this because the Wild are in a serious tailspin or as we here in Minnesota like to call it “the annual swoon”. It’s great to make the playoffs but this team shows no consistency that would lead us to believe they can win a best of seven series. In all seriousness, if the Wild somehow come out of this and make it in as a wild card, how excited can we truly be? That’s probably a terrible way to look at it, but it’s the reality of this franchise at this moment. They are so frustratingly mediocre that it makes you want to pull your hair out. The core of once youngsters are now basically grizzled out vets at 26, with nothing to show for their time in the NHL but extreme frustration with what “could be” potential. Is a trade of Coyle, Granlund, Zucker or Spurgeon something that will alter the franchise? I’m guessing not but what’s the alternative at this point?
I’m not going to sit here and work out the trade scenarios and play arm coach GM because I don’t know the answers. The sad thing is, I don’t know if GM Fenton knows the answers either and that is a scary thought in all this. Granted, he hasn’t been here for a full year so we can maybe give him an off-season where he is completely in control of every aspect of this franchise, draft, free agency, contract extensions and the more important thing right now, trade deadline. However, the recent transactions have this fanbase very paranoid and worried. Nino for Rask has not looked good in any way. He’s got his work cut out for him to try and bounce back from that. Good luck, I guess.
I don’t really want to write this season off but it’s getting awfully close. I’m not sure if they’ve put a complete 60-minute game together all year, maybe once or twice. Either way it’s few and far between and when you blow a two-goal lead to the Flyers that were playing on the backend of a back-to-back on your home ice, it looks like the dumpster fire continues to collect more garbage. It’s becoming very similar to Springfield’s tire fire, constantly burning...
I apologize if this got to be too negative so I’ll leave everyone with one piece of positivity. Catchers and pitchers are starting to report to Spring Training, which means nice weather is right the corner and June will be here before we know it and bam, it’s summertime. That’s all we can wish for because wishing for the Wild to play in June is something that will continue to go down the drain… again.