Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gm # 30: Wild @ Sharks (1/4)

You know that scene in “Braveheart” when the Scots get bamboozled by that British wank of a King who secretly launched a full-out offensive on them while Braveheart was cooing in the ear of the Brit Prince’s Frenchie wife? And then Billy Boy tells Hamish to “ride ahead and assemble the council - order it!” and the big guy does. And then there’s the scene where all the lords or whatever the H they were back then are standing around that meeting room with their thumbs up their collective arse fretting and crying about having to negotiate/surrender before the battle has even begun. And then WW gives his little recap speech that brings you up to date with everything that’s happened in the movie so far about “we won at [some hallowed Scottish battleground] and still you would not support me” or whatever. And then he says “if you do not stand with me now, then I say you are cowards” which was apparently enough of an insult back then to incite a near riot of umbrage from the assembled noblemen which is only put down when big Hamish swings the Axe of Doom and crashes it down into the middle of the table - which gives the cognoscenti enough pause that Willy Wally gets his chance to shake his head in disgust and walk out?

You remember that scene?

That’s what the Wild need right now.

They need someone to stand up and utter the one word that sends them all into apoplectic rage.
Of course, in real life, we then need the Wild to go out and turn this season right back around and embark on another second-half frenzy a la last season, instead of going behind Braveheart’s back and betraying him to their mortal enemy.

(the above also posted on Russo's Rants)

The Wild played another listless, heartless, disinterested, unprofessional game last night, losing to the Sharks 4-1 at the tank. Zero willingness to skate between the dots in the offensive zone (actually, the Mario Bros. did a little of that, so I'll give them a pass). Zero defensive buy-in from the forwards (a disturbing departure from Wild hockey of yesteryear). Zero ability of the suddenly-isolated defensemen to overcome that development, particularly in the face of a concentrated, high-energy, high-speed attack by the Sharks. Zero chance of coming back when you don't start trying until there's less-than half a period left and you're down by four goals.

These are extremely scary things if you're a Wild fan.

Simply, this team has no heart right now. Hard work has been a hallmark of this team since the first days when it was distinctly needed if the team was to have any chance of overcoming it's talent deficiency as an expansion team. That appears to be gone, possibly replaced by the misplaced notion that the overall talent level now obviates hard work. But, in the immortal words of Herb Brooks: "(the Wild) don't have enough talent to win on talent alone".

Is the answer on IR (Koivu)? In part, absolutely. Koivu was our best all-around player until he got hurt. But he's not THE answer. Is our answer in Houston? I have a hard time rewarding mediocre play with call ups to the show, and by all accounts the Aeros have been nothing if not mediocre on balance so far. Plus, what are the odds we'll do as well as we did with Voros again? Is the answer somewhere on the bench? It sure hasn't seemed that way, but that might be the only place it CAN come from if DR is as unwilling to overcome the challenges in trading as he sounds like he is.

Regardless, it all boils down to too many questions right now to feel very good about the Wild at this point in the season.


POLLYANNA SAYS: Radio scored again, all these third period goals from him!

BOTTOM LINE: The Wild were exposed as not being able to compensate for a physical opponent. And oh goody, the Fowl are up next.

STUD: Fedoruk again showed how large his balls really are by dropping the gloves for the second-straight game. When you're the only guy out of 20 that shows heart, you get the "stud".

DUD: Burns got turned inside out on at least one of the goals, and has mastered the art of getting his shot from the point blocked before it posed the slightest threat to the opposition.



Anonymous said...

This team definitely needs to get a set and a heart transplant. We are majorly lacking in that depart. It is hard to watch. They just don't put any effort into the games any more, especially if they get down by a goal or they don't score first.

Kirsten said...

This team had better improve before I get home. I don't want to have waited for months and months only to watch them implode and self-destruct. I'll be seriously pissed if this happens.

Nick in New York said...

If it takes you going back to Minny to get them to play better, kirsten, I'm all for it.

kgopher: definitely. Leadership. We have to find some and soon.