The Minnesota Wild's bye week is here and it really could not come at a better time. Now, the team does not play until Wednesday, February 7 -- an entire 11 days between games for them -- and obviously, only one of them in Kirill Kaprizov has to worry about attending All-Star Weekend in Toronto.
With such a long break, the team should be given time to relax and reflect and heal from every physical and mental wound they have suffered after playing 49 regular-season games on a team that is suffering. Currently, the Wild are seven points back of a playoff spot, but are at the bottom of the list of five teams who are within those seven points. Yet still, according to general manager Bill Guerin, he is not giving up on the season and is hoping for a miraculous comeback.
At some point, a towel needs to be thrown in, but it won't be anytime soon with the trade deadline coming just a month after the Wild resume play. Guerin will be looking to add some players to recover from disastrous injuries, like Jared Spurgeon being out until next season, and has such limited players to sell that that might be his only move to make.
Per Micah Blake McCurdy of HockeyViz, it is going to take roughly a 90-point team to just squeak into the playoffs in the Central division. For the Wild to achieve that many points with their remaining 33 games, they would need to be earning a .651 points percentage the rest of the way. Essentially, they would need to be having the same results as the Colorado Avalanche or Vegas Golden Knights have had for their entire season. Even the Metropolitan-leading New York Rangers don't have a point percentage that high on their season, but this team would need to be better than them.
Now is a time for reflection and rest. Rest for the players to heal, and reflection in the front office to really be realistic about what this team can do the rest of the way.
- The Wild have hit a stride offensively, being able to score more goals than earlier in the season, but that is likely smoke and mirrors once you break it all down. [Hockey Wilderness]
- Jesper Wallstedt and Jake Lucchini have been reassigned to the AHL's Iowa Wild to enjoy some hockey during the Wild's bye week. [The Hockey News]
Off the trail...
- While the five names have been speculated and most can provide a well-educated guess, we got more clarity on what members of the Canadian 2018 World Juniors team will be facing charges of sexual assault over the weekend. Former Ottawa Senator Alex Formenton turned himself in to London Police. [CTV News]
- Columbus Blue Jackets' Patrik Laine will be leaving the team indefinitely as he seeks mental health are from NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program.[TSN]
- Some interesting names are in the trade rumor mill. [The Fourth Period]
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