Wrote about the Wild's 4-1 loss to Calgary for my column in the Monday paper.
My impression: This is a tight team. I didn't sense any lack of effort or passion. I thought the Wild dominated the first period. It hit two posts in the second period. I felt this was a team playing with desperation early, and desperation is hard to sustain.
The Wild played horribly in the third period.
I talked to one of my personal hockey insiders before the game, and that person (affiliated with the Wild, but brutally honest, which is what I look for in my hockey insiders) told me that the Wild's defense just isn't deep enough. Get past Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin, and who do you trust?
Also, this team lacks big, physical players. I think the Wild really misses Mike Rupp right now - a physical player who doesn't take stupid penalties.
Most of the Wild's players, even the very good ones, are skill players, finesse players. And two of the holdovers from the down years, Cal Clutterbuck and Pierre Marc-Bouchard, aren't producing.
All that being said, this team should still make the playoffs, and if it matches up with anybody other than Chicago, it could be competitive in the first round.
But despite the additions of Parise, Suter and Pominville, this is still a roster with major flaws.
-I'll be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:15 and 1500ESPN with Judd & Dubay at noon tomorrow.