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  • The Minnesota Wild 2015-16 Post-Mortem Report


    Denial and Isolation

    Looking back at the Wild's 2015-16 campaign, the season has been pock-marked with inconsistency, but even then, the Game 6 rally that fell short is tough to take. The puck was just a few measly centimeters from being a goal with 22 seconds left on the clock. While we all know the rule of what constitutes a goal in the National Hockey League, many are left in disbelief that the puck did not completely cross the red goal line. Even pictures from other obtuse angles are circulating to try and debunk the NHL's official ruling on the play. Had it been called a goal, it is possible the Wild could have won in overtime, but it's just as likely the team could have lost resulting in the same place we're at now.


    When you try and rationalize why those questions even exist, that's where your anger builds up inside ready to rage-quit the Wild for good. Why did the Wild suck in January? For the most part, we know the team was healthy, but even then, the body language looked as if the team wanted to be any where but the ice. How did it get so bad that the Wild felt it needed to move on from Mike Yeo? Even Yeo himself admitted there was a divide in the locker room that started to manifest itself on the ice. Why in the hell did Parise not take the necessary time to get healthy after the knee sprain? He did miss eight games from November 5th to November 25th, but was that long enough? Could it have prevented the herniated disc in his back in January as one tends to screw things up in their body when trying to over-compensate for an injury? Why did Yeo and John Torchetti gamble with the $98 million asset in such a way that it cost him the playoffs because he never took the time to let it heal?

    That may be the most maddening point of it all. Parise was clearly not himself during the January slide, and was mostly ineffective. Then he's completely unavailable for the playoffs - the most important part of the year for the team - and for what? To help a mostly middling NHL team make its fourth playoffs only to make an exit in the first round. Trying to answer these questions can drive every person to the edge.




    The Wild then went on to sweep the the Blackhawks for the season, a little over a month later, notching the fifth win against the Central Division rivals. Even with as inconsistent the team had been, the Wild still found a way to beat the Blackhawks five time throughout the season.

    And finally, everyone will remember Game 6. Even though it started out with a somber tribute to the Minnesota's late favorite son, Prince, the Wild fought back from a 4-0 hole. We didn't know if they could be saved, but Jared Spurgeon's first goal of the game in the third period allowed the building to erupt into a frenzy. The Wild Game Operations department changed the goal song from Joe Satriani's "Crowd Chant" to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" and the 19,310 fans went nuts as the Wild stormed back to come up just a fraction of the diameter of the round vulcanized rubber of tying the game and forcing overtime. It would have been a comeback for the ages.


    Acceptance and Looking Toward the Future

    The Wild's season is indeed over. There shall be no more hockey until October comes again. But with the offseason upon us, hope springs eternal.

    The Wild will conduct a search for a new head coach. The decision will undoubtedly change the trajectory for this franchise. There is talent on this team and it will be up to the next bench boss to allow that talent to blossom. Placing the right guys in the right position to succeed and keeping everyone accountable to that blueprint will be of utmost importance.

    Writing the eulogy for a team just eliminated in the first round playoffs is never fun. There should be more from the Wild. We should expect more from the Wild. As we put to rest the 2015-16 Wild, we need to remember that the things you are feeling are normal. There's an evolution to grieving. Hopefully we've helped in that process.

    Oh look, our time is up. We'll see you for your next appointment soon.

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