This has been a strange season for the Wild, a proud defensive team that has leaked in net and at the blue line but has scored prolifically with no help from Jason Pominville. With Zach Parise hurt, the onus will be on Devan Dubnyk and his defense to, you know, stop goals from happening. The problem is that the Wild’s forwards might miss Parise’s hustle and defense as much as his scoring.
The key to this stretch of the season might be how Sam Mitchell handles Zach LaVine. The Wolves would be more organized on offense with Andre Miller or Tyus Jones, but LaVine offers upside. If only LaVine had played better at shooting guard in training camp, the Wolves would have an easy solution.
Wrote my Sunday column on the fact that the Vikings are 5-2 despite not beating any good teams. The Rams may be catching the Vikings at just the right time. Their defensive front should match up well with the Vikings’ offensive line, and the Rams are 3-1 since giving Todd Gurley a full workload. That includes a victory over one of the few good teams in the NFC - Arizona.
I think Torii Hunter wants to eventually work in the Twins’ front office. That might be trickier than it sounds. Hunter doesn’t want a ceremonial role - he wants to make a difference and win a championship. The best role for him might be player-front office liason, where he can help the bosses understand what can help players win, and can help players understand the front office’s moves.
Should we be surprised if the Gophers give Ohio State a game? They almost beat Michigan following a week of chaos. They tested a better Ohio State team last year.
MalePatternPodcasts.com: Old friend Bernie Miklasz on the Rams and Blues, Krawczynski on hoops, Yotter on football, Smalley on baseball, Russo on hockey.