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  • Wild Players Landing A Plane? Surely, You Can't Be Serious...

    Image courtesy of Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
    Mikki Tuohy

    A popular Twitter post this week talked about a survey where men were asked if they thought they could land a commercial airplane, and 50% of men said they thought they could. Now, back up a minute, and let’s make it clear that probably 1% of men could land the plane. But we don’t need to get into the delusional, magical thinking that runs rampant in some circles.

    The Minnesota Wild travel on planes all the time. The thought of taking over the plane in an emergency must’ve crossed their minds. Simply using personalities is enough to classify which players think they could land the plane with no problem. But that is a little too easy, so let’s add another layer of complexity. The movie Airplane! should be the perfect thing to beef it up.

    Airplane! (It’s a Parody)

    Below is a summary courtesy of the Airplane! entry on IMDB. (Obligatory note that, like most comedies in the 1980s, several parts didn’t age well.)

    Drowning his sorrows after that botched mission during World War II, the traumatized ex-fighter pilot with a neurotic fear of flying, Ted Striker, still has not got over his old flame and flight attendant, Elaine Dickinson. Determined to win her back, Ted boards a domestic flight from Los Angeles to Chicago, only to come face-to-face with a severe case of in-flight food poisoning that is threatening everyone's lives.

    Now, with most of the passengers and the entire cockpit crew down with the food-borne illness, Striker has no other choice but to confront his inner demons and take over the control of the ungovernable aircraft with the help of a gruff air traffic controller and his former commander. Can Ted Striker land the airplane and save the passengers?

    Absolute Confidence In Themselves

    Three Wild players spring to mind who would immediately think they could land the plane (and all three are players who NO ONE wants to land the plane.) Marcus Foligno already took a picture in the pilot’s seat before their flight to Sweden. If he was allowed to wear the captain hat? No one could tear him out of the captain’s seat.

    Brandon Duhaime would bolt for the cockpit door the instant someone asked for help over the intercom. Unfortunately “brain too full of hockey” syndrome means that he would not be a good pilot. Thankfully, Connor Dewar (who would know he couldn’t land a plane and wouldn’t want to anyway) would step in to get Duhaime back to his seat, his iPad, and his fruit snacks. They might engage in this sort of back-and-forth at some point, though. 

    Pat Maroon is the tricky one. He would be cool as a cucumber and confident as all get out. But he can’t land a plane. Someone would have to be willing to call him on his bluff to try and get someone knowledgeable into the pilot’s seat. 

    Normal Amount of Well-Intentioned Confidence

    This group is for the players who think they could land the plane but would easily accept it if someone contradicted that idea. Mats Zuccarello and his chihuahua energy would immediately think that it would be easy. But Zuccy has age and wisdom. He would accept that it would be too hard. Ryan Hartman and Jake Middleton would be the same.

    Wouldn’t Want To Land the Plane Even If They Thought They Could

    Matt Boldy only begrudgingly takes part in the silly videos that he’s forced to make at press day. Just look at his stellar performance in this year’s NHL Holiday video. If the announcement for a pilot came over the intercom, he would put in his headphones and pull up his hood.


    Just Making the Right Choice Upon Reflection

    Joel Eriksson Ek, Marco Rossi, Freddy Gaudreau, and Connor Dewar are all smart enough to realize the obvious. Therefore, they wouldn’t want to land the plane. They might believe in themselves, but they have the self-knowledge that confidence can only take a person so far in life.

    With Age Comes Wisdom

    In the same vein as Zuccarello up above, there are a handful of other veteran players who have enough lived experience to know that they can’t land a commercial aircraft. Alex Goligoski, Jared Spurgeon, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Marcus Johansson all fall into this category. Zach Bogosian seems like he would also fall in here. The veterans would be the ones saying that the other person can’t be serious.


    “Sit Down, Faber”

    That’s all it would take for Brock Faber to stop his enthusiastic skip to the cockpit. He’d shrug and go back to his seat. The veterans will be happy because they’ve saved him from this sort of conversation that they’d have to explain to him later:


    Then Who Is Going to Land the Plane?

    Filip Gustavsson is so calm and good with puzzles and riddles that he might be the sole member of the team who can land the plane. The good news is that when he landed the plane, he wouldn’t look like this (aka Middleton at all times):

    airplane sweating.jpg

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