Minnesota Wild’s Lost Season

Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite some success this year, 2015-2016 will go down as a lost season for the Minnesota Wild.

This was a lost season for the Minnesota Wild. Interim Head Coach John Torchetti  was able to rally to get them into the playoffs. But their first round series with Dallas has taught us that this team will not win the Stanley Cup with the current roster. They are at best capable of putting up a fight against the NHL’s top teams.

That was not supposed to be the case this year, the Wild looked like a team that would be fighting for a top seed in the Western Conference. Instead they backed in as an eight seed and their play seems to reflect that is who they are.

If this team was going to win, this was the year. Veteran stars Koivu, Suter, and Parise are still in their primes as players who can carry the team. At the same time, promising young players such as Granlund, Niederreiter, and Coyle were poised to take the next step in their development.

Based on individual stats, that happened. Koivu led the team in points (56) and power play goals, Parise led the team in goals (25), and Suter put up 51 points from the backend. At the same time, Granlund scored double digit goals for the first time in his career(13). And both Niederreiter and Coyle set new career highs in points (43 and 42).

It should frustrate fans that despite contributions from players listed above, this is still a wild card team that must claw to get to the playoffs. And that is because of their inconsistency.

Every year this team goes into a late December, early January slump that kills a promising season. The reason I say that is because it is obvious to anyone who has watched this team the past couple years that home ice is vital to their playoff success (7-4 the last 2 years).

Yet the team seems incapable of focusing for an entire season, robbing them of home ice advantage. During this year’s annual January slump, it seemed everyone except Coyle was incapable of scoring. And then Coyle himself finished the season without a goal in 18 straight games. A common theme among the team’s top scorers as Koivu, Zucker, and Parise all had long goal droughts as well.

Even after putting themselves in playoff position with a 6 game win streak, the team promptly lost 5 straight headed into the playoffs. At a time when teams want to get hot, the Wild mailed it in.

Next: Minnesota Wild A Young and Struggling Group

This season has proved that inconsistent is all this group will ever be. Hopefully that realization is enough to spur major change in the personnel and front office, because clearly firing the coach was not enough.