The best blog may be by just stringing together my Twitter mentions.
It would certainly be more entertaining. The Wild fan base is in its annual January meltdown … which always mirrors the Wild’s annual January meltdown.
Last year’s was at least cut off in its tracks by the Devan Dubnyk trade Jan. 15.
There’s no end in sight yet, so the Wild better hope the seven days away before the Wild resumes practice next Monday and its season next Tuesday in Brooklyn magically repairs this squad.
On Dec. 31, the Wild beat the St. Louis Blues to improve to 20-10-6.
That night, it was four points behind St. Louis and two points behind Chicago and firmly in the top wildcard spot in the West.
After tonight’s 2-1 shootout loss to Arizona, it is 15 points behind conference-leading Chicago and nine back of St. Louis. It moved back into the top wildcard spot, tied with Colorado with 55 points, but only three points up on Nashville, which plays Tuesday and Wednesday in western Canada.
So, so typical of the Wild. In perfect position to show everybody that it has taken the next step as an organization, and instead the Wild loses 10 of 13 games in January (3-7-3) and can’t muster up a single victory on home ice (0-3-2).
This is why the fan base is reacting like this. It’s emotionally spent from these swoons.
Tonight, the Wild looked like it was on a 40-minute power play to start the game and a goalie named Louis Domingue, who to be fair has started 12 of 13 games for Arizona in place of the injured Mike Smith and struggling Anders Lindback for a reason, held the game scoreless.
The shots after two periods were 24-6. The attempted shots after one were 30-8 and 46-23 after two. Yet, Domingue, who spent much of the past three years playing for the ECHL Gwinett Gladiators outside Atlanta, Ga., shut the door on the Wild.
When you are incapable of putting teams away, you leave it to a game of chance. Sure, there’s no excuse up 1-0 and on a power play with 1:24 left to somehow not win the game, but of all players, Devan Dubnyk, who was brilliant in the third period with 16 saves to this point, made the mistake of the season by turning the puck over behind the net.
The Wild lost the draw, the puck is cleared, he doesn’t play it cleanly, the Wild don’t do a very good job of retreating and giving him outs, he doesn’t move the puck quick enough and boom, Tobias Rieder strips him of the puck and after the crowd gasps, Antoine Vermette ties the game at 1-1 with 1:13 left.
In overtime, the Wild couldn’t score on the remainder of its power play, then took a penalty of its own. Michael Stone thought he scored the winner, but referee Ian Walsh ruled Mikkel Boedker made contact with Dubnyk. The Wild finished overtime with no shots and then couldn’t score in the shootout.
Anthony Duclair did and the Wild left the ice stunned with a 1-9 overtime/shootout record.
So many points left on the table this season in the extra sessions, and for the second time in two games, the Wild left stinging after a late goal. In San Jose, it was Joe Pavelski’s goal with 1:24 left that took away the chance for even a point two games after the Wild gave up the go-ahead goal in a tie game in the third period in Anaheim.
Not sure where the Wild goes from here. They gave the clichéd, “it’s a good time to get away” stuff after the game, but the Wild isn’t going to return in seven days of getting suntans, drinking pina coladas and not skating and all of a sudden miraculously learn how to score goals.
This team has been the best defensive team in the NHL since early December, yet it finds itself in this position because again it cannot score easily. There are so many passengers on this team right now, it’s really unbelievable.
The amount of what coach Mike Yeo called, “major, major slumps,” has to be remedied.
We’re talking Mikael Granlund, Jason Pominville, Nino Niederreiter, Thomas Vanek, Mikko Koivu, Jason Zucker, Matt Dumba. All these guys are relied upon to score and none of them are.
Charlie Coyle has heated up and scored his third goal in as many nights tonight and his career-high 13th goal.
“Our lines got to score,” Zach Parise said. “That's what we're supposed to do and we didn't do it again."
Hard to do when Granlund has no goals with a goalie in net in the past 30 games and get pushed off the puck constantly and Pominville is on pace for a career-low eight, has one assist since Dec. 22 and lately is hesitant to shoot and loses pucks left and right.
It’s not like the coaching staff can make the players score, but they better come up with some solutions during this break. The Wild isn’t going to miraculously pull out of this simply because it has shown the ability the last two years.
The frustration in the room is palpable right now and that has to be a concern by players, coaches and the front office, alike.
The effort tonight was impressive. The chances generated tonight were more than enough to win.
But yet again, the Wild didn’t win. And that’s the only thing that matters.
That's it for me. Check out the coverage on startribune.com/wild. Chip Scoggins wrote a column there, too. I'll write a follow for Wednesday's paper, and Jim Souhan has a column planned as well.
Speaking of which, here's the latest Souhan-Russo Show.