The Wild was ridiculed after a 1-6 start and still left for dead when things didn't improve much after that as Minnesota limped into mid-November with a 6-11-1 record.
Sure, if you were being kind and optimistic you could grant the Wild a little grace for having to play so many early-season road games.
But even after that, the narrative seemed obvious: the team was an odd mix of badly matched parts — the result of three front office regimes in less than two years — and it was showing on the ice.
A pivot to something more of a rebuild seemed not only prudent but inevitable.
But since a loss to the Kings on Nov. 12, the Wild has secured points in 10 consecutive games (7-0-3) to move back onto the fringes of the playoff race. Hockey Reference gives the Wild a 44% chance of making the postseason at this point, which is 44% higher than I gave Minnesota a few weeks ago.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. email@example.com.