After the Wild beat the Sharks 3-2 last week with a tight, efficient defensive effort, head coach Bruce Boudreau had a little bit of a "yeah, but" reaction. Basically, he wanted to see Minnesota produce that kind of effort and result more than once before he was going to declare the Wild's slump was over.
And, well, the veteran coach was correct to proceed with caution based on the last two games.
Minnesota sports fans who are only a few months removed from watching a promising Vikings season go off the rails are wondering if the same thing is happening to the Wild. The answer is yes — but with a major difference: The Wild still very much has a chance to save its season, which the Vikings do not have.
Minnesota won't go far playing the way it is right now, but if that changes by the time the playoffs roll around the slump at the end of the regular season largely will be an afterthought.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org