Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wild Flat After Trade Deadline Letdown

So Doug Risebrough thinks this team is "good enough" this season. I wonder what they're good enough for? They're a playoff bubble team that has masqueraded as a division leader at times. They're great when the get the lead, but they're paper tigers when the other team scores first. They tout their greater scoring depth (relative to year's past) but they can't win if Gaborik isn't in the lineup. They got tossed around by the Fowl last playoffs, so they go out and get "tougher" - but they get psyched out in big games when the other team shows any willingness to throw the bodies around.

The idea is slow, sustainable growth, and they haven't faltered or deviated from that plan yet. And I believe in the plan. I am not expecting a deep run into the playoffs this season. I would like to think that slow, sustainable growth should mean improvement on last season - which would be winning a series to me.

So, is that what the Wild is "good enough" for right now?

This team with no leadership, no identity, no heart, no willingness to play for each other?

This team that has tougher players but that has had a difficult time assimilating to that style of play?

And the playoffs is far from a given. There are a lot of teams jammed into the middle of the western conference, some of them arguably better than the Wild, some of them on par with them.

And here they are getting their butt handed to them by the Caps - who, by the way, DID get a nice shot in the arm today in the form of some big trades. And they're technically FURTHER out of the playoffs than the Wild are right now.

This appears to be a crossroads for Wild fans. For the first time in team history, they can start to think their team might have the tools to make some noise when it counts. But management doesn't seem to think so.


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