Rand: Current Wild feels a bit like 2002 Twins

  • Updated: May 15, 2014 - 6:41 AM

What does this feel like?

The question lingered Wednesday, many hours after the Wild’s season and playoff ride came to a sudden end after numerous failed chances by the home team and a fortunate bounce for the Blackhawks.

Every season for every team is an entity unto itself, but it’s also natural to make comparisons when trying to sort out feelings. Is there any local comparison to make regarding the 2013-14 Wild’s season and the way it ended?

It didn’t feel like the 2002-03 Wild or any other Wild team. That lone previous playoff run was built on a trapping style, veteran moxie, great goaltending and the generosity of Vancouver goalie Dan Cloutier.

It didn’t feel like the 1998 or 2009 Vikings, even though those seasons, too, ended with punches to the gut. The 1998 Vikings felt like a team of destiny, the unstoppable force riding an incredible wave for the entire season. That does not describe this year’s Wild, which had many fits and starts — at times looking as though even making the playoffs was in question.

The 2009 Vikings were “all-in.” When Minnesota pushed in the chips for Brett Favre to go with a lot of other veteran talent, you knew that even if it worked, the window for success was open only a crack. As it turned out, it slammed shut in New Orleans after a single year. That does not fit the description of the Wild, either, since the mix of veterans at or near their primes and youngsters emerging means we should have several years of potential playoff runs ahead.

It didn’t feel like the 2003-04 Timberwolves, the best team in the West during the regular season and a crew heavy with veterans. When Sam Cassell’s back flared up in the conference finals against the Lakers, that series had the feeling of impending doom. The Wolves haven’t even made it back to the playoffs since then.

The best comparison we could come up with was the 2002 Twins. That team took a step the previous year, winning 85 games, just as the Wild took a step by making the playoffs in 2012-13. That team relied on some veterans, such as Brad Radke, but really went to the next level when its young players emerged. Those Twins had a surprising opening-round playoff series win, taking the deciding Game 5 on the road in Oakland. And they proved to be set up for a sustained run of regular-season success.

The question that remains: Will the Blackhawks be the Wild’s version of the Yankees, or will this Minnesota team continue to take steps on the way to a championship?

Michael Rand

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 58 3rd Qtr 8:16
Denver 62
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 3rd Prd
Minnesota 2
NY Islanders 1 3rd Prd 16:49
Dallas 1
Anaheim 2 2nd Prd 4:09
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 2 1st Prd :15
Edmonton 0
San Jose 3 1st Prd 7:07
Vancouver 0
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 40 2nd Half 9:10
Clemson 33
Texas A&M 31 2nd Half 10:12
Florida 39
Kentucky 43 2nd Half 15:13
Georgia 39
West Virginia 44 2nd Half 13:45
Kansas 35
Auburn 47 2nd Half 7:52
Missouri 46
Michigan 46 2nd Half 5:26
Northwestern 45
Villanova 34 2nd Half 17:52
Creighton 33
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 55 2nd Half 7:12
Air Force 34
San Jose St 62 2nd Half 4:20
Boise State 81
Nevada 48 2nd Half 5:12
Colorado State 52
UNLV 36 2nd Half 9:17
San Diego State 54
Wyoming 56 2nd Half 2:00
Utah State 52
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close