Friday, April 5, 2013

Minnesota Wild Hit a Road Block

The Minnesota Wild were flying high and had been on a seven game winning streak until Sunday night’s game against the St. Louis Blues. That’s when the Wild hit a road block and the tires came flying off.

In the Wild’s defense, they had played a number of games in a short period of time but they’re not the only ones that have been put in that position due to a lockout shortened season. Another thing starting to plague the Wild at the most inopportune time is injuries.

The Wild have lost Matt Cullen and Dany Heatly. Both players were becoming a big part of the Wild’s success and their absence showed in last night’s debacle against the Los Angeles Kings. The Wild are hoping that they will return to the lineup shortly.

What’s concerning is that in the last three games, all losses, those games have been disastrous for Minnesota. The team has started all games off on the wrong skate. They have looked dazed, confused and sluggish and they fell behind by multiple goals early.

In the last two games they did start to play better as the game went on but the damage done by their slow and putrid starts hurt them and comebacks were next to impossible to come by.

Unless the Wild want to take the road that the Winnipeg Jets are currently on, which is a one way ticket out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they need to regroup and take their next two days off and figure out a way to finish off this season on a strong note.

In his first game suiting up in a Minnesota Wild uniform, after being traded from the Buffalo Sabres, Jason Pominville looked pretty good on Thursday night against the Kings. While it looked like he was tired, that was to be expected.

His teammates (Mikko Koivo and Zack Parise) and him still need to work on building chemistry with each other but that will come pretty soon and when it does, their opponents better watch out. The Wild are currently in sixth place in the playoff hunt and two back of the Vancouver Canucks for the Northwest division lead. So the Wild can improve their fortunes if they finish the season on a strong note.

Every team goes through ups and downs during the season and these ups and downs are enhanced in a short season like this one. I believe the Wild will bounce back and find their way through his road block. I do think they will make the playoffs but they have a huge fight against the Vancouver Canucks for the division title. The Canucks are perennial winners of the Northwest and I don’t see this changing this year.

The positive thing for the team is that they play the majority of their remaining 11 games at home where they have a great record.

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