Because I believe in equal time, I'm now going to return to trashing the Wild.
I'm not sure I can recall a single other team that has to work so hard just to get a shot on goal, much less score. I thought the Wild played pretty well last night, overall, but at the end of the second period, their paltry shot total was right there, staring us in the eye like a dead fish. Again.
It's time to sit Cullen down for a game or ten. He's a disaster. Count the times he gets the puck in the offensive zone that don't end up with him lying on the ice and play going the other way, the puck in the other team's control. Big, big minority. My buddy GreenStar asked on Twitter last night why Cullen's habitually the last guy back on the backcheck. It's because he's the softest guy on the puck since PMB a couple seasons ago. You only need a feather duster to defend against him.
I actually thought Bax was okay in the shootout last night. In the first place he stopped a couple shots. In the second place, he got beat on one just sick shot (Kane). In the third place, we only scored one the other way for him. Losing shootouts is both because the goalie didn't stop enough AND the shooters didn't score enough.
I did like the willingness of the guys - ex-Cullen - to battle and stick up for one another. I really like Powe. Someone pointed out that he's an offensively deficient version of Nystrom. But I think that's unfair. Powe's a defensive forward on the 3rd or 4th line. Offense from him is gravy. And I love how he is willing to throw down for his team mates.
But this team is pathetically unable to score. I did not like Yeo's decision to break up the Brodziak-Heatley-Johnson line when Mikko came back. I thought it was myopic if the goal was to get more than one scoring line, since that line was already producing.
Well, the Mikko-Heatley-Setoguchi line is producing, can't argue with that. But Brodziak and Johnson have stopped - as with everyone else. Again with the coddling of Mikko, and not to the team's overall benefit.
I was glad Yeo sat Zidlicky down. That is all about Yeo's credibility with the rest of the team, in my opinion. He HAS to scratch him last night. Maybe forever.
Look, Wild fans, we've seen this movie. They will continue to stink, "improving" in the smallest increments, until it's too late, and then they'll get hot once the pressure's off and win just enough games to fuck up their draft position, finishing in 10th and picking around 10th overall - well out of the money picks.
If that's inevitable (and it says here it is) then what's the rationale for Fletcher to delay selling UFAs? Get what you can. Lead the market - make the market. What could Brodziak bring if Dominic Moore brought a second? If Grossman's worth a second, then Zanon, Lundin and Zidlicky have to be worth a 4th, 5th and 2nd, respectively, right? *Zidlicky for his offensive capability, not his current-season production. That one's a bit of a reach, I'll admit.
No team emanates mediocrity, on balance, like the Minnesota Wild.