The "death by 1,000 paper cuts" that is this Wild fan's 2009-2010 season rolls on.
Forgive me, but the Wild is just dead-ass boring.
They're not talented enough to really compete for anything worthwhile, and they're not healthy enough to rely on their talent. Yes, they're working harder - and for closer to 60 minutes per game, which is both a nice and recent development - and that's encouraging. But it makes me feel like they're just getting back to their baseline for comparison which is: honest, hard-working team that "efforts" its way to a 2-1 loss.
Now, that's not really a problem, per se. Which is to say I have personally espoused a willingness to be patient provided that honest effort is there. Part of that stems from the memory of the experience of losing a team - in other words, something is better than nothing. And part of that stems from understanding that it does (or, should, unless you're the Rangers) take time to build a winner - time that the Wild still really hasn't had enough of, particularly considering how prior management ate its young.
But why, then, do I find a game such as Wednesday night's 2-1 SO loss to the Bruins to be so hard to sit through? If I'm allegedly happy to just have a professional team from Minnesota to watch again, should I not be bothered when that team is utterly devoid of intrigue? I should not, and yet I am (was?).
And I'll admit: that realization's a bit discomfiting.
Because, in a way, it strikes at the heart of the whole "State of Hockey"/Minnesotans as American hockey cognoscenti thing. In short: it feels like it casts us down with.....common hockey fans. Those "score or be traded," "win or you're fired" feral, gaudy American sports fans. Not the Canadian (okay, ex-Vancouver) hockey connoisseurs that we Minnesotans like to posture ourselves after - relative to our fellow Americans who follow those quaint, barbaric sports such as football and basketball. I mean, the Maple Leafs still sell out, for the love of God, and that team's streak of failure is almost Red Soxian. The Wild has had to resort to giving away free tickets to employees and their friends and family to keep their vaunted sellout streak intact.
This isn't some introspective "search your sports fan soul" entry. It is what it is. I wish the Wild could accomodate greater expectations for this season. I am, however, experienced enough to know they can't. I don't sit there and mutter to myself and shake my head at the TV as I'm watching games. I just......play Farmville....