Minnesota Wild (23-21-6) 52pts 7th in the Central
3.10 Goals For Per Game (14th in the NHL)
3.28 Goals Against Per Game (26th in the NHL)
20.5% Power Play (11th in the NHL)
74.8% Penalty Kill (26th in the NHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #12 Eric Staal ~ 17G 21A = 38pts
2. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 7G 28A = 35pts
3. #11 Zach Parise ~ 19G 13A = 32pts
4. #16 Jason Zucker ~ 14G 14A = 28pts
5. #36 Mats Zuccarello ~ 13G 15A = 28pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #38 Ryan Hartman ~ 52 PIM’s
2. #19 Luke Kunin ~ 48 PIM’s
3. #18 Jordan Greenway ~ 39 PIM’s
1. #32 Alex Stalock (11-8-3) 2.93GAA .903%SP 2SO
2. #40 Devan Dubnyk (9-12-2) 3.28GAA .893%SP 1SO
Boston Bruins (30-10-2) 72pts 1st in the Atlantic
3.31 Goals For Per Game (7th in the NHL)
2.51 Goals Against Per Game (3rd in the NHL)
25.4% Power Play (3rd in the NHL)
83.1% Penalty Kill (4th in the NHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #88 David Pastrnak ~ 37G 35A = 72pts
2. #63 Brad Marchand ~ 21G 45A = 66pts
3. #37 Patrice Bergeron ~ 22G 20A = 42pts
4. #46 David Krecji ~ 12G 22A = 34pts
5. #47 Torey Krug ~ 5G 28A = 33pts
Top 3 PIM’s:
1. #63 Brad Marchand ~ 53 PIM’s
2. #33 Zdeno Chara ~ 45 PIM’s
3. #88 David Pastrnak ~ 30 PIM’s
1. #40 Tuukka Rask (18-4-6) 2.27GAA .925%SP 2SO
2. #41 Jaroslav Halak (12-6-6) 2.47GAA .918%SP 3SO
If you ain’t first, you’re last.
Now, I will admit, as long as you’ve tried your hardest, even if you fail at the task, that sometimes that’s all you can ask for. In life, we’re not always going to win. We’re not always going to succeed. However, the effort you put forth, is sometimes what actually counts. If you give your all and wear your heart on your sleeve, people will often accept that you didn’t win or succeed. But when you give a half-hearted (or less) attempt, then those around you or observing you, will not thank you for your hard work. They will not consider you as successful. And worse, they may decide to not call on you in the future for projects. Yet the line from the movie Talladega Nights is true. If you’re not first, you’re last.
When it comes to the Minnesota Wild, they’re definitely in last place in the Central Division. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about the situation. Sure, coming out of the All-Star Weekend, they went right into their bye week, which has caused them to slip even further in the standings. Now, they’ve still got a ways to go before they’re in complete last place in the league, but there’s still a chance of sliding even more. The 52 points they have in the standings has them well ahead of last place team Detroit with their paltry 28 points. Yet, being as low as they are in the standings, just the idea of possibly even winning the Draft Lottery is tangible. It is time for this team to accept their fate, and actually play like the team they are, based on the standings. It is not time for this team to play with a sudden burst of gumption and climb in the standings. Somehow though, the latter is the kind of boneheaded move this team will do, telling us “we’re doing it for the fans.” Trust me, if you really wanted to play for the fans, you would have done so since pre-season. If you want to play for the fans, you would want this team to get the best possible place in the 2020 Entry Draft.
Nothing helps ensure this possible further slide in the standings, like coming off the bye week and having to face the Boston Bruins. Not only are they sitting in first place in the Atlantic Division, but they’re in second place for the league, just three points behind Washington. Looking at Boston’s point scorers, it just makes me shake my head realizing that David Pastrnak has almost double the points of Eric Staal. It almost doesn’t seem fair, but hey, life isn’t fair. Same goes for Brad Marchand, Boston’s number two scorer, has almost double the points of Ryan Suter. Sure, Marchand is a high-scoring forward, and Suter is, well Suter and a defenseman. Spots 3-5 on both teams are slightly more equal, but that tends to be kind of the case on most teams. However, the Boston Bruins aren’t most teams. And we’re just fortunate to face them.
With not having played a game since the 4-2 win against Detroit on January 22nd, it’s hard to come up with much more to say. I have a bad feeling, that we’re going to (again) see a lethargic Minnesota Wild. This team is like a Basset hound. If you’ve never been owned by that particular breed of dog, all you need to know, is this. Even after sleeping all day while you’ve been at work, they’ll still find a way to look sleepy and need yet another nap. That is the Minnesota Wild. They will most likely come out looking like a team that has played 4 games in 5 nights. They never look fresh and feisty after an extended break. They get far too comfortable when they’re at home for any length of time. That trend is even more magnified when they’re not even playing games during those long moments when not on the road. The vast majority of the players, especially those with children, probably ventured to somewhere warm and probably with a theme park filled with favorite characters from children’s movies.
Having spoken of the Basset hound (the best dog breed ever), I figure I should introduce you all to Dean the Basset. He is a happy hound from Toronto, that has his own YouTube channel. In a video from just about a year ago, Dean shows us his love of the game (and his beloved Maple Leafs). Honestly, I think he’s got better moves and stamina than many of the Minnesota Wild, although he does a stellar Devan Dubnyk impersonation.