The Minnesota Wild may have gotten a little bump from replacing Dean Evason with John Hynes, but reality is starting to set in. The Wild won Hynes’ first four games but didn’t move up in the standings because of the NHL’s loser-point system. And they dropped games in Vancouver and Calgary on their latest road trip.
Is it time to panic in the State Of Hockey? Sort of, Harman Dayal and Murat Ates argue in The Athletic($).
Minnesota has won five of seven games since John Hynes’ hiring, although only one of those wins was against a team in a playoff spot (Nashville). It’s too early to know whether Hynes can legitimately turn them around or whether this is just a temporary high from a new coach bump. …
The climb back to a wild-card spot seems daunting, however. The hole they’ve dug themselves is deep and hard to recover from. Jonas Brodin is hurt and will be out week to week after a dangerous Evander Kane hit that went unpenalized. Brodin’s absence is going to be a big challenge for the Wild because they now have only three blueliners they can really trust in Spurgeon, Brock Faber and Jake Middleton.
Panic meter: 7/10
So yeah, don’t freak out. But the Wild need more than a four-game winning streak to get back into the playoff picture. They were 5-10-4 before relieving Evason of his duties on November 24, and the playoff picture usually is pretty set by Thanksgiving. Therefore, they have a lot of ground to make up. So panic, but don’t completely lose it.
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