On My Soapbox: Minnesota Wild Mail It In Against Edmonton

Blake BenzelCorrespondent IApril 6, 2010

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 12: Jaimie Sifers #26, Antti Miettinen #20 and Andrew Brunette #15 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on March 12, 2010 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

As poorly as the Wild play at times, I try and I try to remain positive—to have a positive spin on things.


But after last night’s 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers, I think I might just be all out of positive.


I’m just going to lay it out there, plain and simple, for all to see. I love this team. I bleed iron range red. Anyone who knows me knows this.


But with last night’s effort, it is painfully clear that the Minnesota Wild have mailed in the remainder of the season.


I’ve tried to categorize the positives that have come out of this last stretch of the season, and it’s becoming harder and harder to do so.


Our young guns (Prosser, Wellman, and Almond) have looked fantastic.


Whether it’s due to youthful exuberance, the excitement of being in the big show, or just because that’s how good they are, it doesn’t matter—night in and night out Wellman and Almond are two of our best players on the ice and, last night, Prosser was arguably one of our best defensemen (after he calmed down a bit).


We’ve been struggling with injuries. Over 300 man games lost to injury—enough to make even King Leonidis cringe. {Author’s Note: For those of you thinking, is he that big of a nerd that he just included a 300 reference in his blog…The answer is yes, I am exactly that big of a nerd.} A grand total of 39 different players have suited up for the Wild this season, seven of whom were making their NHL debut.


We lost Pierre-Marc Bouchard, arguably one of our more important offensive cogs, to a concussion early in the season. Injuries kept Brent Burns from fully hitting his stride until recently. Both Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding have spent time on the shelf with injury problems.


The whole point of this sob story is to say that, yes, we’ve encountered adversity this season.


But my God…


The effort that has been put out over the last few games has been absolutely pitiful.


Don’t give me that “we almost beat Vancouver” baloney, or the “we hung with San Jose” crap. The bottom line is that, over the last handful of games, {Author’s Note: Earmuffs, overly sensitive fans.} we’ve sucked.


Am I going to be overly dramatic like many Wild fans likely will be in the coming week?


Absolutely not.


I’m not going to stop watching games.


I’m not going to stop endlessly cheering this team.


I’m not going to stop searching for the positives.


But they’re certainly not making it easy on me.