The Minnesota Wild have been playing uncharacteristically poor lately. Despite earning the two points while visiting the Philadelphia Flyers, they are in a stretch of laying down some real turds in the last week or so against the likes of the Flames and the Leafs. And with those miserable games, one key aspect has been giving the hatred spotlight: Goaltending.
In his last five appearances, Cam Talbot has a 1-4-0 record, an .864 save percentage, and has allowed a total of 21 goals. Just absolutely brutal numbers for the supposed starting netminder for a team that is right up there in the standings (for now). But that is not what head coach Dean Evason wants to focus on or even hear about. It’s been the whole team, not just the one in between the pipes.
“The whole team has to play through it. It’s not Cam. It’s the Minnesota Wild. The Minnesota Wild have to play through this,” he said. “You have to have a game like this where we were good but we made mistakes. Everybody did. Everybody’s got to play through it, and everybody’s got to stay together and get it done. We got to continue to get better and better now moving forward.”
At least they can look forward to potentially beating up on the terrible Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
And even some players recognize the opportunity to put on some more stable performances that can boost their confidence heading into a significant part of the season, pre-trade deadline.
“We know we’re a really good team,” Jonas Brodin said. “It just hasn’t been going our way lately. You just try and stay positive and stay together and get through this together. I think every team has dips in the year, but it’s really hard to win in this league, and it’s nice to get one here in Philly.”
It is true. Maybe the former four-game losing streak that we just experienced was just the alternative angle of so many winning streaks the Wild went on earlier this season. A balancing act to even out our emotions. And just maybe we’re paying way too much attention game-by-game; letting a problem grow until it becomes an epidemic in Minnesota because one dude isn’t playing so hot for a couple weeks.
But if any of this continues, and if Bill Guerin and other members of the Wild front office have an awkward trade deadline, then we might be tempted to hit the panic button repeatedly.