After early hope, Wild appears lost in the desert

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 8, 2012 - 11:50 AM

Last time the Wild in Arizona, it was a league-best 20-7-3, a league-best 10-3-2 on the road and had a five-point lead in the Western Conference.

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Quixote71Mar. 7, 1210:54 PM

I don't envy Fletcher or Yeo right now. There isn't much of anything that they can do the rest of this season other than evaluate talent and pray to land a big fish or two in the off-season. I would be surprised if the Wild make more than the 7th or 8th seed in the Western Conf. playoffs next season. I will reserve my excitement for the following year. Unfortunately the game is called patience and stick to the plan now. Anyone who didnt see this coming over the past 3 seasons can not have any hockey sense. To call for the coaches and GMs head right now is ridiculous. At the end of the next two seasons if we aren't in the playoffs, FIRE AWAY!It is still the State of Hockey, just not the state of NHL hockey... Go Bulldogs! God Speed to J. Jablonskis recovery!

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crockrockMar. 8, 12 1:58 AM

two of the best can't miss prospects in the last five years will be available in this years draft and we are getting closer to having a shot at one of them.the fall has been epic but it may just be what this franchise needed in the long run! re:pens and hawks. just hope parise and suter see it the same way! rememember we are still paying for being competitive from day one; 8th and 9th picks dont build cup champs; we pay for that now but i think for the first time in a long time there really is a light at the end of the tunnel and this time it wont be the oncoming train!

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minneg56Mar. 8, 12 6:17 AM

An old German professor years ago would stand in front of our class -he'd say ... "every day you don't study, you're two days behind ... and every year you don't progress you're many more years behind ..." Apply this philospophy to Wild. If one accepts this - how many years off track is this franchise?

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washburnlkMar. 8, 12 8:06 AM

The team that plays tonight is definitely different from the one that played Dec 10th, but don't kid yourself, the majority of the epic fall included almost all of the players that are now out. Koivu, Schultz, Zanon, Zid, Clutterbuck all played a part in the collapse. PMB and Lats are the only 2 that missed out on all of this debacle so let's not add any credence to this being SOLELY about injuries. At the time they were on top the Wild were one of the lowest scoring teams in the league and had one of the worst PP's. They were also being outshot by almost a 2-1 margin every game, BUT they were winning because of great goaltending and they were getting the bounces. This is not a team that's in this position because Schultz, Zanon and Zids were traded 10 days ago. We're not this bad simply because Koivu has missed 22 games, other teams overcome bigger losses (See Crosby). Yes, losing Lats and PMB hurt the talent level but so did signing Gillies to a one way contract because Yeo was convinced he was a upcoming star. The truth is this team lacked proven talent at the beginning of the season, had plenty of cap space but never used it, and the 2 biggest moves it made after the fall started were to waive Gillies and trade for Christensen. Since Christmas, while other teams did whatever was necessary to scrape and claw for ANY playoff spot, management threw in the towel and counted their winnings.

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letsgoblueMar. 8, 12 8:17 AM

Once and for all, let's all agree that Detroit IS HockeyTown! Let's go Red Wings!!

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downsideupMar. 8, 12 8:20 AM

I went through a similar argument over the Vikings. He said we need to fire Childress. After his first year. My argument was, so when the next coach goes, say 1-5, we should fire him. And then when the next coach goes...fire him. Fletcher is trying to fix the mess he was handed, and I think has performed well. Yeo deserves two more years. At that point, they should have proven their worth. If not, hatchet time.

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siouxchampMar. 8, 12 8:25 AM

Reg Dunlap said there is some investors in Florida interested in buying the Wild. F-L-A? Who "OWNS" the Wild?

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washburnlkMar. 8, 12 8:31 AM

I don't think you can have it both ways Mr Russo. If the cupboards were left bare by DR, and Fletcher has made the future bright in 3 years of drafting, how would firing him put the team back to square one ?

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uffda57Mar. 8, 12 8:38 AM

Injuries killed this team, pure and simple. I agree that many of the guys who weren't injured at the time were in on the collapse, but it's important to look at who the Wild brought up to take the place of the injured: AHLers like Peters, Ortmeyer, Taffe and others who either never had the talent to be NHLers, or are not at that level yet. As the talent level of the team dropped drastically, more injuries came, necessitating yet a further drop in talent as the Wild "added" guys like Christensen. Yes, the Wild needs to add talent on the NHL side over the summer, but it is equally important that they restock Houston so that when a player is hurt, there is a credible, NHL-ready player available to call up. I think that process will happen over the summer, as a number of our prospects get to Houston and up its talent level. Every team in the league suffers injuries throughout the year, some of them to top players like Crosby. The difference between them and the Wild is that they have enough other talented guys on the team to pick up the slack, and can call on some quality replacements from the minors when needed.

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skorheimMar. 8, 12 8:41 AM

Thanks for a good read Mr. Russo. I also hope the glass is half full w/ this team.

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