After several days off after an awful game Thursday, the Minnesota Wild get a much-needed win on home ice. Is this a turn in Minnesota’s awful start?
Minnesota Wild fans, how good did that win feel? After a great first, a nearly pedestrian second, and the tension in the third, the relief watching the Wild close out that game is on par with Thanksgiving Dinner. After Thursday’s game, morale was the lowest I’ve seen in my few years watching the Minnesota Wild. Watching the Wild get blanked, dominated, and arguably clowned Thursday was demoralizing and sad. Then the reports of the closed player’s team meeting with an angry Mikko Koivu eviscerating the team came out. Yikes. I am not upset that it happened, I am upset it got to that point. I believe Koivu could turn a human into ice with an intense enough stare.
Then the media got their time with the players.
Let me ask a question before I give my take, and ultimately the recap of the Minnesota Wild Win yesterday.
Why are We (local fans, fans of other teams, national media) upset about players giving cold hard truths? Seriously, Jason Zucker’s quote was 100% right and being honest is much better than the stereotypical dry and lacking response to media questions. The team, from the head coach to the players with the least amount of ice time, had to be better. That wasn’t Zucker solely blaming Bruce Boudreau for (at that point) the Wild winning only one game in the seven total played. Zucker was saying the team was playing badly, and that there are things that have to be done.
For example, Tape-to-tape passes. Finishing a Rush with a goal. Give lines that, although haven’t done much yet, a chance to build chemistry and more opportunities to succeed. Look at the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ignore the amount of talent they have for a second; it’s massive news when Coach Mike Babcock CHANGES the composition of his lines. Seriously, he will drive lines into walls before he changes them. I’m not saying Bruce Boudreau needs to adopt that mentality, but when you combine established chemistry with ability, good things happen. Players on the Wild were disgruntled with Bruce shifting lines- Zach Parise admitted openly, as reported by Michael Russo, and an unnamed player, as reported by KFAN’s Brandon Mileski.
More importantly, though, THE WILD WERE PLAYING POORLY. If you were on Twitter looking at what fans of the Minnesota Wild were saying, it was almost ubiquitously:
“Taaaaaaaaaank #LoseForLafreniere #BombForByfield”.
I am not innocent of this, in the last article I wrote (morning of the 4-0 loss to Montreal) I mentioned that if the season continues this way, I understand the desire to tank.
Now that isn’t to say that this one win will 180 Minnesota’s season, but it was important.
Also, there will be several asterisks in this recap. All of them mean: “Montreal was on the second half of a road back to back”
Hey. Let’s talk about yesterday’s Win.