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Foligno hoping to lead Wild out of ‘funk’

The alternate captain is looking inward.

Minnesota Wild v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Minnesota Wild head coach Dean Evason said that he was “embarrassed” after the 7-3 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday. A lackluster performance that drew the ire of essentially every fan of the team, as they attempted to shrug it off and possibly blame the quality of the opponent, mixed with a couple absences.

Well, as much as we can try and just let the losses roll of our back and move on to the next, winger Marcus Foligno isn’t really banking on the team automatically moving forward with better contributions.

“I’ve got to get emotionally involved more and lead these guys to get out of this funk,” Foligno said after the loss. “I think we need a response next game and stop feeling sorry for ourselves. We’re a really good hockey team, and we know what to expect out of ourselves. It takes one win to get us feeling good again, but sometimes when you’re in that funk, the next win’s the toughest thing.

“Right now we just got to get home and make sure we put up a good fight next game.”

Thankfully the Wild will get an immediate chance to redeem themselves, as they face the same Flames team back in St. Paul on Tuesday. And as Foligno mentioned, a Minnesota-esque win against that team could bring the morale up like nothing else, and suddenly get us feeling that this team is actually good once again.

If not, well, they are making a trip to visit the Philadelphia Flyers later in the week and considering what kind of season that team is having, that might be an easy lay-up win to start feeling better about themselves before the March 21 trade deadline.

That is the key date though. Despite the Wild being deep into a playoff spot, they don’t feel like a true contender or just a couple pieces away from rivaling the Colorado Avalanche for the Western title. What they do at the trade deadline can certainly speak volumes for how GM Bill Guerin thinks of his team, and my initial feeling is that they are just going to stand pat, let some contracts expire but not add anyone substantial to throw away the potential future.

It’s going to be an interesting few weeks in Minnesota, but to make us feel better about this team, they should probably start winning some games.