As the NHL shuts down for a couple days in deference to all the non-Jewish fans, I thought, "what the heck? Why not gut out a post?"
You see, my lack of posting this season about the Wild is not because I don't care anymore....it's because I haven't had anything to say.
This Wild team is going through the kind of "re-positioning" season they probably should have gone through earlier; and likely would have, had Lemaire not been around to continuously apply lipstick to the roster's collective snout.
Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with this. Years of constant identity re-defining ("we're a defense-leads-the-rush team....now we're a defense-starts-the-rush team...") combined with inconsistent drafting and the self-divesting of assets without care for the return (hell, without care for A return in many cases) left the team with, well, no identity.
I'm just saying that dissecting every second of action on a team that's voluntarily gone back into chrysalis is not intriguing to me. This is why I don't write a blog about my children. I just can't see why anyone would care who farted at dinner and then said something cute about it afterward - especially because I struggle to come up with anything cute to say most of the time anymore.
The overall story is getting better. This team now pretty consistently works its tail off. They skate hard, they forecheck (and with more of a concerted effort across the entire 5-man unit - as promised) and they're fun to watch.
But, for the recent success (11-4-1 over their last 15, 15-7-3 over their last 25), the Wild (39 pts) is still basically equidistant between last in the Western Conference (Edmonton, 34 pts) and 8th (Dallas, 43 pts). And now they've managed to climb just far enough out of the basement to likely relegate them to the second-third of the 1st round in next year's entry draft. So we've got a team that's not a contender and not in position to win the lottery either....sound familiar, Wild fans?
Look, I'm not hoping they lose every game. I'm not that kind of "fan." And I'm not pissed because they're not a contender and I expect them to make a run for the Cup this (and every) year. I'm not that kind of "fan," either. It's just....sort of ho-hum right now for me with the Wild. And I'm cool with that. I'm just not inspired to copy/paste everything Russo says about them every day.
So, yeah, I think there's hope for the future. I think this team is more entertaining than they have been in the past. But it's almost too bad DR isn't around to see this, because my expectations are truly managed for this season. Almost.
Happy Holidays, all!