WRT opines about each month of the Wild 2009-2010 schedule:
October (14 games): Don't miss...the weekend of Friday-Saturday, October 30-31, as the Wild partcipate in 'Back to the Future' weekend, as they take on the New York Rangers (and old 'reliable' -- yeah, right) Marian Gaborik at the 'X', followed the next night by their final visit ever to Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, to take on the Pens (and so Chuck Fletcher can finally receive his Stanley Cup ring). Also, the home opener (Oct. 6, a Tuesday) as it's 'Koivu vs. Koivu' as Saku comes to his little brother's house for the first time in the hated Ducks black, gold and orange.
Don't worry about... October 21 vs. Colorado. No Sakic, no hope. Avs are in full rebuild mode.
November (11 games): Don't miss... Nov. 10-15, probably the most interesting Eastern conference trip the Wild have taken in a long, long time. Road games at Toronto (Brian Burke and his rebuilding Buds), Tampa Bay (soon to be renamed 'Really South St.Paul', for all the ex-Wild on the 'Bolts roster), Washington (Mikko Koivu vs. Alexander the 'Gr8') and Carolina (a Sunday afternoon game...during football season...in North Carolina. What part of this does NOT compute?) If they survive that road trip, 8 of the following 10 games are against opponents who did NOT make the playoffs last season.
Don't worry about... Nov. 7 vs. Dallas. Another team that got really old, really fast. And, like the other bad team in the Pacific Division (Phoenix), Tom Hicks is also in deep financial doo-doo.
December (16 games): Don't miss... Dec. 17-19, two games in Eastern Canada (at Montreal on Thursday, at Ottawa on Saturday) that just before the Holidays might put the Wild into a real holiday funk, should they go out and lay two eggs on this trip.
Don't worry about... Dec. 7 at Phoenix. The Wild really catch a break on this one, as there will be thousands of Wild fans at Jobing.com Arena, as the Minnesota Vikings play the Arizona Cardinals the day before, across the street, at University of Phoenix Stadium.
January (14 games): Don't miss... Jan. 2 as Jacques Lemaire leads the New Jersey Devils into the 'X' for the first game vs. his old team. Now can we finally 'boo' the trap?
And... Jan. 11 vs. 'Sid the Kid' and the Pittsburgh Penguins on 'ticket scalper's holiday'.
Don't worry about... Jan. 28 at Colorado, the last game between the Wild and the Avs in 2009-10.
February (6 games): Don't miss... Feb. 6 as the Philadelphia Flyers come to St. Paul. How long will it take for Chris Pronger to try and do the 'stomp' on Cal Clutterbuck?
Don't worry about... Feb. 12 vs. Atlanta. The Thrashers may be so wound up in Ilya Kovalchuk trade talk that 'Blueland' may just be black and blue by that point. And then, there's the Olympic break...
...after which, we have...
March (16 games): perfectly separated -- two at home early in each week, two away at the end of the week, for four weeks straight. So, with all that, don't miss... March 25-26 (at Philadelphia, at Detroit) as whatever animosity remains (after the first Wild v. Pronger stomp-a-thon) will re-emerge, in the city that once booed Santa Claus. The next night, if there's anything left, they take on the Red Wings at the Joe in Detroit for the last time this season.
Don't worry about... the playoffs, if the Wild are still struggling at this point. They won't make it if they play this season like they did down last year's stretch.
April (5 games): Don't miss... April 2 vs. San Jose, as the Wild can really throw a monkey wrench in a number of teams' playoff plans if they don't get in themselves. San Jose could just be one of those teams.
Don't worry about... April 10 vs. Dallas. By then, Mike Modano will be really regretting coming back for that one...more...season.
And then...maybe, just maybe...the playoffs?