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Hockey Wilderness
  • Boogie with The Noogie: A Lost, Wild Season


    This is a team that took a couple steps forward over the last few seasons, and taken one massive step backwards this season. Chuck Fletcher has made some great moves to bring in pieces in an attempt to build a winner, yet it's his misses that haunt us just when things are looking the brightest. It's those missteps and inaction that have played a big role in how this season has played out. Fletcher, ever looking towards the future has failed to see what was right in front of him, he has failed to live in the now.

    I'm not asking Coach Yeo to call out his players publically either. That would be foolish, that's what we're here for and that's what the fans are for. Yeo singling out anyone for public flogging accomplishes nothing for the team but raising the tensions in the locker room. If Nate Prosser wants to get pissed at me for saying he's about as useful on the ice as a 2-ton anvil, so be it. Frankly, with how he plays I'm not sure I'd have much to be afraid of if we ever crossed paths in the mean streets of Elk River.

    This same logic and reasoning should be applied across the board right now with the Wild. Ryan Suter has struggled terribly in recent weeks, yet he's still pocketing 30 minutes a night. Sure, he scored a goal in the All-Star game, but so did everyone else. Suter is a workhorse, no doubt about that. Just because you can play 30 minutes a game though, doesn't mean you should. Save that kind of thought for the playoffs. Next year I mean, next years playoffs (maybe).

    With so few bright spots left on this team what is it we really have at this point to look forward to the remaining 30-odd games of the season? More of a lackluster power play and shoddy passing? More of Anthony Lapanta and Mike Greenlay word-vomiting the company line on how this team plays its best hockey with its back against the wall? Breaking News guys, this teams back has been pushed through several walls now.

    We have, for the most part as fans of Minnesota sports, been indoctrinated to the ineptitude and downright awful play we get out of most of the major players in the sports culture around these parts. There is a reason high school and college hockey is so popular in the State of Hockey. It's because our professional squads just fail to fire on all cylinders consistently. It's disheartening to sit back and watch something you can do absolutely nothing about. I mean, I could savage this team till I was blue in the face but what good would that be? Nothing changes, or if it does the change is so short lived you soon forget anything was even attempted in the first place.

    I grow weary with this team. From the top down the excuses are plentiful. From Chuck Fletcher's far-sighted view of the team to Mike Yeo's irrational explanations for player deployment, to the players themselves speaking of how they need to play better as a team yet not putting together a complete game in so long, I can not for the life of me even recall when they last were able to do so. If they were able to put together a solid 60 minutes a game and still come away with a loss I could at least say "Hey, they tried. Right?"

    All of this has led me to draw the only logical conclusion one should have about the Wild. Nobody is without blame here, and nobody should be losing their jobs over it. In the end, it's one more bad season in a local professional sports culture that seems to breed such things. Let the team, from the top down, take their licks, hopefully learn something if not about the team then about themselves. Take this seasons experience and learn from it, apply your newly found knowledge to next season, and grow as an organization.

    There's always next season, right?

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