A Memo To Wild Fans: Don't Panic

Blake BenzelCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2009

SAINT PAUL, MN - JANUARY 9: A young fan of the Minnesota Wild watches warm-ups prior to the Wild game against the Dallas Stars at the Xcel Energy Center on January 9, 2006 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

I’ll address my thoughts on the trade for Chuck Kobasew later today (hint: I love it), but first, I’d like to address something that’s been weighing on my mind over the last week or so.

The Wild have stormed out of the gates this season with a 1-6-0 start, totaling all of two points (don’t worry; the team is still better than the Maple Leafs).

This fiery start has Wild fans from Albert Lea to International Falls acting as if they were stock brokers during the Great Depression.

My advice to these fans?


Take a Xanax.  Read a book.  Watch a movie.  Sit down with a cold adult beverage.

Whatever it is that you do to unwind, do it.

Then, once you’ve calmed yourself, take a deep breath and reassess the situation.

The team has two points in their first seven games.  Not the best start, to be sure.  But the last time I checked, the Stanley Cup wasn’t won in the first seven games of the season.  The last time I checked, the playoffs weren’t even decided in the first seven games of the season.

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Look at the standings.

We’ve got Colorado, Ottawa and Phoenix leading their respective divisions?

If you would have told me, at the start of the season that these three teams would be atop their divisions I would have said you were on some sort of high powered, psychotropic cocktail of drugs.

But here we are.

Is there cause for concern?  Most definitely.

The Wild are 11th in the league in shots per game, yet are 27th in goals for per game.  The Wild are 10th in the league in shots against, yet 28th in goals against.

The defense has been porous at best and Niklas Backstrom can’t be Superman every game.

Four of our top six skaters are suffering through injuries, with Cal Clutterbuck and Petr Sykora both being on Injured Reserve and Pierre-Marc Bouchard now placed on the Long Term Injured Reserve.

The team has looked absolutely putrid for most of their first seven games.  Our scorers can’t find the back of the net and our defense makes the worst mistakes at the worst possible time.

But should there be panic yet?  Absolutely not.

The NHL season isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.

The fact that the Wild are shooting as much as they are is certainly a good sign, as is that they aren’t allowing very many shots.  Once our defense stabilizes and gets used to playing in this new system, the turnovers will slow down and, hopefully, not be so costly.

Special teams is a strength for the Wild, who are ninth overall on the powerplay and third on the penalty kill.

The Wild is a team ravished by injuries.  Once they are able to ice a complete team, I think fans will see a much better product than the team has put out so far.

If the team is still floundering by the Olympic break, then it might be time to panic.

But seven games into the season? 

Give me a break.

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