I got "lucky" last night when NHL network picked up the Wild game (I'm in South Carolina) which meant I could watch it on TV instead of the iPad. That lucky feeling didn't last very long.
This is a tired team. Regardless of whether or not you look at that as an excuse, it's reality. We know this team can play well and, in any event, better than they have the past few games. But that trip from NW Canada to the midwest last week pretty much coincided with the start of this, if not immediately the end of the streak, so I think that's at least partially causative.
I'm not sure I would have started Bax last night, but Yeo did and we all saw the results. Were we that much worse off after Kuemper came in, though?
So the Wild is trending back toward the team we've thought they were all season: playoff-caliber, if not a contender. Fine. And there are enough games to work out these kinks - they just have to do it.
There's really not a lot to say. They get a couple days off, then a big game in Columbus (first time "a big game in Columbus" may have ever been typed in a NHL context). But they're about to embark on another string of 7 games in 12 days, so it's not like they get a big break. They had been relatively injury-free all season. So, while it hurts to lose Cullen and they did lose Heatley, they're just going to have to work through it.
If any of us thought this season would cease to be a grind, we were kidding ourselves. And given that they didn't get any separation even throughout the streak, it was never like they were going to be able to coast into the playoffs.
Keep the faith, Wild fans.