Last season I predicted that this Minnesota Wild team would be a force to be reckoned with. They were in first place and on fire. Then the injury bug bit them, and they found themselves in the basement.
Once again, this season I predicted the Wild would be a force to be reckoned with, only problem is, they’re not.
And I think I can say, I’m not the only one surprised by this, otherwise why would I be writing about it?
They have the talent up front and two decent netminders to carry them deep into the playoffs.
So then, why are they 4-5-1 , 11th in the Western Conference with just 9 points?
In hockey, when you’ve tried everything but firing the coach and your team doesn’t respond, you tend to fire the coach. Maybe owner Craig Leipold won’t force that move immediately, but he has no reason to be patient after making an immense investment in front-line talent and watching his team fall apart.
Whether Mike Yeo is responsible for his team’s slump, is irrelevant.
When you sign two players for about $200 million, print T-shirts that read “Take the Next Step; No Excuses,” call up your best prospects, alter your best line, threaten the jobs of a couple of veterans, hold a players-only meeting, trade for an enforcer, watch one of your two incoming saviors play like he’s still learning to skate backwards, and then embarrass yourself at home against a prime rival, the owner owes it to his accountants and fans to consider all possible means of improvement.
And he’s not going to cut Ryan Suter in the first month of a 13-year deal.
Suddenly, with the on-ice product disintegrating like a cheap grocery store’s paper bags, Leipold’s brain trust looks vulnerable.
“We just didn’t show up,” Zach Parise said. “Pretty simple.”
No Zach, the system you guys are playing is disgusting. There’s no energy, no puck movement, nothing, except for on ice embarrassment.
Whether it’s lack of chemistry or lack of coaching, whatever it is, they need to fix it, and fix it fast before the state of hockey gives up.
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