Whether it happens over the course of the next week, precipitated by a ghastly free-fall only propped up by the cushioned bottom of the Western Conference standings, or happens a few months from now during a busy offseason, this much seems pretty clear:

It's the end of the Wild as we know it. (And I feel fine).

Sunday's 4-0 loss to the Blues is far from the only piece of supporting evidence, but the manner in which it happened and the quotes that followed were pretty damning.

Let's pause here to insert the usual caveat of "be careful what you wish for," as it does have merit. If you think the Wild is bad now, you quite possibly have not seen anything yet.

With the Wild's salary constraints and lack of elite young talent, it's easy to imagine things getting a lot worse before they get better. For that reason, I still think it might be best for the Wild to try to ride out this season.

Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. michael.rand@startribune.com.