As of Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 500 comments on the Star Tribune game story recapping Chicago’s 1-0 victory over the Wild in Tuesday night’s Game 3.
The popular adage indicates you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but this was further proof that when it comes to Internet traffic and commenting intensity, the opposite is true.
Fans love to win, but in victory there isn’t much to say. Fall behind 3-0 in a series, though, and there is plenty to say — with familiar themes emerging from earlier in the season and virtually wiping out, in the minds and voices of some fans, all the good will earned by the Wild in recent months.
Here are some of the more prominent recycled story lines that surfaced on Twitter and in the comments section:
Fire Mike Yeo
Online takes: “Yeo experiment complete. Hire a coach already.” And: “Should the Wild make a run for hiring Mike Babcock if he were to become available?”
My take: We’ve been on this merry-go-round before, usually in late December. This is the second consecutive year the Wild has won a playoff series. The Wild was one of the best teams in the NHL during the second half of this season. Yeo isn’t the problem.
Punchless power play
Online take: “What a terrible effort when, with 7:28 to go, the PP doesn’t generate a shot when the game is on the line.”
My take: This is a convenient narrative, but it’s just not true. As bad as the power play was Tuesday and for much of the regular season, the Wild has the best power play in the NHL (30 percent) this postseason.
Online take: “Vanek, Koivu, Pominville and Suter did not produce or were defensive liabilities in this postseason.”
My take: There are legitimate gripes in here. Even in the unfairly small sample size of the playoffs, many of the Wild’s highest-paid players have underperformed.
Minnesota fans are the problem
Online take: “The common thread that links all our pathetic pro and college teams is … the fan base. We are Loserville, USA.”
My take: This thesis requires a full sociology textbook, not a short newspaper sentence. But maybe there’s something to it?
Not enough talent
Online takes: “The one positive in all of this, is it makes the Wild look in the mirror, and honestly say ‘We’re not that good.’ ” And: “It is talent. Pure and simple. You don’t make wine in used oak barrels.”
My take: Is Chicago more talented? Yes. Does that mean the Wild is improperly assembled and doesn’t have enough talent to compete? That is the question for Game 4 — and, more important, the offseason and years to come.