The Wild and Wolves both had home games on Wednesday night. It offered a somewhat rare chance for a Minnesota sports fan to make a decision on which he or she wanted to attend. More than that, it offered the possibility that one or the other — or both — would break character from the way the season has gone to date.
If you were counting on that, though, you were sorely disappointed. The Wild controlled and won its game over Montreal, but an abysmal power play overshadowed much of their good work — at least in the eyes of booing fans. Minnesota is now 7-for-78 (9 percent) with the man advantage this season. Coach Mike Yeo sounds like he’s tried everything in his bag of tricks and notes that the bad power play is the thing that’s keeping a good Wild team from being elite.
Maybe he needs to channel former Wild coach Jacques Lemaire and try a little humor. It was Lemaire who, early in the 2003-04 season, had this famous quip after the Wild started the season 0-for-12 on the power play.
“The power play, to me, it’s one of the biggest keys,” he said then. “When we started last year, our power play was really good. It was 23 percent. Now I don’t know if we got enough to make milk. It’s about 1 percent, half of one percent. ... It’s very skim milk.”
The Wolves, meanwhile, might have participated in — and lost — the worst game in the NBA this season. The 76ers, in general, are by far the league’s worst team. And the Wolves, as assembled with injuries, aren’t far behind. Losing at home to a team that was previously 0-17 is rock bottom for a franchise that knows that place all too well.