Saturday, February 27, 2016

Minnesota Wild – Oh So Close But Rejected Again

The past two games for the Minnesota Wild have seen the team come close to winning games. Instead of victories, the Wild have come up on the short end of the stick in three consecutive games.

Now Wild fans are left to debate if the Wild team we’ve seen in the past three games is the real Wild team or is it just bad luck for the team that sees itself four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

Wild Lose At Home To New York Islanders

On Tuesday night, the Minnesota Wild came so close toforcing Overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers when a Charlie Coyle shot intoa nearly empty net was reviewed. It looked like a goal at first glance but after an official review it was ruled that there was no goal. The Wild came 1.6 seconds from securing at least one point.

Philadelphia netminder Michal Neuvirth made an incredible save adding to a list of steals he made all night long.

The Wild had their chances. Goals that seemed like an inevitability didn’t materialize. We shouldn’t be surprised. This is the Wild we’ve become used to in the past couple of months. The four game winning streak that ended with a victory over the Blackhawks last Sunday saw the Wild netting goal after goal.

Minnesota Wild Stymied By Washington Capitals

On Friday night against the Washington Capitals, the Wild played well for two periods and had a lead in the third period but in typical Wild fashion, a couple of breakdowns led to two Washington goals and in a blip the Wild had recorded their third consecutive loss.

The theme has been the same. Scoring goals has been a problem, even when the Wild have had numerous chances!

Once again Alex Ovechkin scored a big goal! The goal tied the score in the third period and it was Ovechkin's 40th goal of the season. With the goal,  Ovechkin 10th player in NHL history to score fourty goals in eight seasons.

Ovechkin has scored four of his forty goals in the past two meetings between the Wild and Capitals. In fact those games have come just weeks apart of each other.

Has this been the real Minnesota Wild? It might be. In the past two months, the Wild were arguably one of the better team s that out chanced their opponents. The problem is that they were near the bottom of actually scoring goals.

Has the real Wild Resurfaced?

The Real Minnesota Wild Has Resurfaced

It looks like Minnesota is reverting back to the team that got Mike Yeo fired. This team of underachievers is set to give the coaching staff fits. Some fans thought that the worst was over, especially when they went on a four game winning streak.

In the team’s winning streak, they scored 5+ goals in each game. With the exception of the Chicago Blackhawks the Wild faced inferior opponents. Those opponents were perfect for a team looking to rebound from nearly two months of losing.

Now the Wild have faced credible opponents and will continue to do so. We’re seeing the same old team that failed to score goals the past couple of months. Things don’t get easier as the Wild face the league’s best team, the Washington Capitals.

The Wild have to win and win now. They have to find a way to score goals.

Wild Have Remarkable Ability Of Making Opposing Goalies Look Great

On paper and with the naked eye, Neuvirth looked great against the Wild. On his game winning save that was ruled a no goal, he looked great. Let’s slow down a little bit. The Wild are inept. In the no goal ruling, all Coyle had to do is one-time the puck into an open net. Instead he controlled the puck and shot. That extra second gave Neuvirth enough time to make a great save.

The Wild have built up a reputation as team that out chances their opponents. Someone must tell them to score goals. Especially when a goal is almost impossible to miss.  The Wild have an uncanny ability of making opposing goalies look great.

It’s still a small sample size of games since Mike Yeo was fired. The Wild came out firing in the first four games after John Torchetti took over as interim head coach. The past three games have seen this team revert back to the team that saw Mike Yeo get fired.

It’s looking more and more like this is a player issue and not a head coaching issue. The players have difficulty putting a full 60 minutes together and they may not be as talented as we thought they were.

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