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  • Wild Unleashed But Still Enter Playoffs In Reverse




    The win in Vancouver that night ignited a 4-game winning streak in which the Wild scored no less than 5 goals in each game. That streak then gave way to a 3-game skid as the adrenaline from the coaching change wore off. But the team immediately rebounded and went on to another 4-game winning streak. Under Torchetti, the Wild has put together strings of wins (6 games, 4 games, 4 games) featuring marquis wins over Chicago (twice), Los Angeles and Colorado when it has counted most. But the team has also experienced losing streaks (3 games twice, 2 games twice) with losses to lesser opponents such as Ottawa (twice) Winnipeg, New Jersey and Edmonton. The team has a total record of 15-9-1 under Torchetti, which includes their first OT victory of the season. There is a clear pattern of Jekyll-and-Hyde inconsistency with the team that has again lead to uncertainty in their playoff destiny with only 2 games to go.


    Torchetti has seemingly delivered all of the things the fans and players were asking for that Mike Yeo refused to do. The locker room seems looser and the team appears to have found its unity again following a Yeo-reported divide. The players are working together to pick each other up and play a complete team game. Personnel and deployment have been completely redistributed across the roster and special teams have been corrected. Players who are struggling are not playing high pressure minutes, and the guys who are playing best are being utilized when it counts most. The team found its mojo after looking completely lost for a month. So what gives?

    As discussed when Yeo was dismissed, the change would demonstrate whether it was indeed the coach causing the issues or the players. The impetus would shift from the management to the players for the rest of the season, provided Torchetti did an adequate job of relieving some of the internal pressure and correcting the systems. As shown above, Torchetti has exceeded those expectations and the gaze shifts completely to the players. The proof for the remainder of the season was to be in the putting, and the players have failed to completely deliver. Though it is very likely the team makes the playoffs, they enter having limped their way to the finish line. In a situation when their backs were miraculously not against the wall, the players have stalled and provided cause for team management to take a long look in the mirror this offseason and decide whether it is time to really shake up the roster.

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