Minnesota Wild (3-3-3) 9pts 5th in the Central
2.11 Goals For (26th)
2.22 Goals Against (6th)
26.3% Power Play (4th)
73% Penalty Kill (29th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #25 Jonas Brodin ~ 3G 3A = 6pts
2. #24 Matt Cooke ~ 3G 3A = 6pts
3. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 1G 5A = 6pts
4. #11 Zach Parise ~ 4G 1A = 5pts
5. #46 Jared Spurgeon ~ 1G 3A = 4pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 23 PIM's
2. #4 Clayton Stoner ~ 13 PIM's
3. #22 Nino Niederreiter ~ 10 PIM's
1. #37 Josh Harding (3-2-1) 1.11GAA .948%SP
2. #32 Niklas Backstrom (0-0-2) 3.40GAA .849%SP
3. # 35 Darcy Kuemper (0-1-0) 5.63GAA .571%SP
Nashville Predators (5-3-1) 11pts 4th in the Central
2.11 Goals For (25th)
2.33 Goals Against (9th)
16.1% Power Play (18th)
81.8% Penalty Kill (14th)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #15 Craig Smith ~ 1G 5A = 6pts
2. #27 Patric Hornqvist ~ 3G 2A = 5pts
3. #12 Mike Fisher ~ 2G 3A = 5pts
4. #11 David Legwand ~ 1G 4A = 5pts
5. #33 Colin Wilson ~ 1G 4A = 5pts
Top 3 PIM's:
1. #12 Mike Fisher ~ 21 PIM's
2. #24 Eric Nystrom ~ 16 PIM's
3. # Matt Hendricks ~ 15 PIM's
1. #35 Pekka Rinne (4-3-1) 2.49GAA .910%SP
2. #30 Carter Hutton (1-0-0) 1.09GAA .967%SP
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The sky is falling….the sky is falling.
As children, most (if not all) of us learned the tale of Chicken Little. Like most fables, depending on which version you are told, there are several lessons to be learned. Over the years, many fables and fairy tales are toned down from their original versions to become more acceptable to society or to be deemed appropriate for children. Don't believe me, read the original Brothers Grimm story of "Little Red Riding Hood" to what most of us know now. Let's just say that the original Grimm's versions can often make their way onto banned books lists. In the case of Chicken Little (otherwise known as Henny Penny), Chicken Little, the lesson to be learned (based on the version) is that you're either to be brave or to not believe everything you're told.
The classic line from the fable "the sky is falling" has become a common saying in English. When we use it, we generally mean that we believe nothing good will come from a particular situation. In Chicken Little's tale, to a degree he/she was correct from their point of view. In some versions, the concept of "falling skies" is nothing more than the rain. When you think of it some more, the idea of Chicken Little is also that of the self-fulfilling prophecy, in that if you keep claiming something enough, you start to believe it.
With the Minnesota Wild, it's kind of hard to stay positive right now. We're seeing a coach in Mike Yeo who was most likely not ready for a head coaching position. If we truly wanted to bring in a younger coach, the ideal progression would have been to have him as an assistant coach under a more veteran coach, and then later promote him. As fans, we're currently doubting his ability to coach. We don't see a man who can let his players have it with any sense of authority. Just like parenting and teaching, the role of a parent or teacher is not to be a "friend" to childen, it's to be an authority figure. When you try to be a friend first and strong authority figure second, you generally are going to have discipline issues. When I was a kid, my parents were my parents and my teachers were my teachers. They were not there to be friends. As an adult, my mom and I are great friends, and that's how it should be. A coach is there to be the guy in charge, not your buddy. If you hear interviews with former players of Scotty Bowman and Jacques Lemaire, there is still this high level of respect even now, years after they've played for them. In years down the road, I highly doubt we will hear the same kinds of interviews about Mike Yeo.
We also see players that seemed confused about their roles. In these times of outrageous contracts in all professional sports, we've gotten used to players running the show instead of being the obedient employee. There's also the battle of are players trying to do more than they should (trying to do more than their skillset would allow) or the players with lots of potential, but not living up to that potential. I just want players to do what they do best. Even better, I want players who play with a team mentality, who work their butts off every game. You know, like the 2002-03 roster. There was a perfect symbiosis of coaching and players back then. I just wish every day there was a way to recapture that time in Wild history, with the vastly more talented roster we have now. But alas, until the mentality of the team and the coach changes, we're not going to see that.
So yes, I'm feeling a bit of a sky is falling kind of mood. It's not a happy place to be. It's not a place I like to be. I want to be a happy fan. I want to be a proud fan. But the thing is, my expectations are not outrageous. I am not one of those naive fans that believe that a Cup is a possibility every year. I just expect more than what we're getting right now. The moral of the tale of the Minnesota Wild version of Chicken Little is this, until things change, we as fans cannot believe things will improve. And sadly, the sky will continue to fall until this team picks themselves up.