Slow start dooms Wild; a long offseason awaits
Would you expect anything different?
The Minnesota Wild’s season is done after a 5-4 defeat to the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, losing the series 4-2.
The pressure was on Dallas, the Wild is at its best with its back against the wall, but the Wild didn’t come through.
A fluke goal was the game-winner by NHL statistics, but really, the Wild lost the game in periods one and two. You would have thought that the Wild would have played different, but really what did you expect?
It is not a conspiracy; the puck didn’t cross the line. The team didn’t play well enough in game one or two. The team did not play well enough in period one or two in game 6. How you can play so well in game 5 and not show up in your own building for 45 minutes is beyond me. It is an embarrassment.
The Xcel Energy Center was rocking during that third period, and there is not reason why it couldn’t have been like that all season long. The fans here are loyal and want what is best for this team. For the Wild to put that embarrassment on the ice is a disgrace to the fans. The third period was great, entertaining and fun. But, there was no need for it. The team needs to play better.
The season was full of inconsistency. If anyone asked you how the Wild’s 2015-2016 season went, just tell them to watch games 5 and 6. Heck, tell them to just watch game 6. The first two periods were as bad as the Wild ever played this season, and the third period was the best it played all season.
Now, the Wild are in for a long summer. They have to find a coach and they need to shake up the roster. With how the team played down the stretch, it is tough to say who needs to go, and who needs to stay.
What is obvious is the team needs to do something different. They are not going to play with effort and passion; they need to get more skilled players who can put the puck in the net. The chances of that happening are slim to none, so the Wild has to use the trade market correctly.
Matt Dumba and Marco Scandella looked loss on the ice against Dallas. They were not physical enough; they made bad plays with the puck and allowed too many goals while on the ice.
Jason Zucker needs to play better. When he is not scoring, he is useless on the ice. He doesn’t battle for pucks, he don’t play a solid two-way game and isn’t great in the corners. He has to play better.
The Wild is a different team when Zach Parise is not on the ice, but that is no reason to play as bad as it did. It was an unreal season, and several changes will need to be made to make this team successful.
There are no players in the minors that can step up and make a huge difference on this team. It has to be done through free agency, trades and developing young talent through the draft.
There is no quick or easy fix for the Wild, but one thing is for certain. Change is on the horizon in Minnesota. The team signed Parise and Ryan Suter to huge money deals to bring a Stanley Cup to Minnesota. The offseason moves now have to back that up