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Early Exit, This Is Getting Old

April 29, 2023, 7:46 PM ET [10 Comments]
Dan Wallace
Minnesota Wild Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
This gets very old year after year. Unfortunately for Minnesota fans it is exactly what they expect. Leaving last night's game, I was equally disappointed with the way the fans left the game just like it was any other game.

That says a lot about the state of fans of sports here. It is nothing like I am used to seeing being from the Philadelphia region, where fans have passion and that carries over to the field, court, ice, etc. I realize that is has been a lifetime ago that Minnesota experienced a major sports championship, when the Twins win the World Series in 1991.

I get it to a degree, but still seems very strange.

The Wild have given fans hope these last two years with solid regular season performances and 2-1 Series leads in each of the last two playoffs. The three straight defeats in back to back years should drive the Wild faithful l, absolutely crazy.

Injuries are always a factor in the playoffs, and yes, Joel Eriksson Ek's was a significant blow to the Wild. Here is what I will say about that. Eriksson Ek is THE single most player that the Wild cannot play without and have success. Yes, Kirill Kaprizov is the most talented player on the team and a top five talent World wide. But Eriksson does everything for the Wild.

JEE is the guy that is charged with shutting down the opposition's top talent. He is the team's best face off guy. He is the biggest agitator and the d guy who draws a ton of penalties. Not to mention Eriksson Ek is a key player on the top PP unit and the top PK m unit.

His absence should speak volumes as to just how amazing the overall game of #14 really is.

That does not absolve the Wild for their inability to step up and use the playoff slogan "grit first" to be their identity.

We talked all about how the special teams had failed the Wild for the second consecutive playoffs. The faceoffs are another huge area of concern. If you want to win in the playoffs, you better be able to win way more critical draws than you lose. Penalty killing is also paramount to long term playoff success.

These are areas that are the primary responsibility of the assistant coaches. Dean Evason will ultimately get the credit or draw the ire, as the head coach. So he needs to make sure that his assistants are doing their job and making the necessary adjustments and learning from tape.

Hearing Dean Evason in his post game press conference say that the coaching staff couldn't figure out why the Wild had trouble scoring this season vs. Last. He was non-committal on who was playing hurt and what thw injuries were, but at the end of the day the results were more of the same

This coaching staff has been provided with pieces in which to work. Bill Guerin is committed to winning, owner Craig Leipold, is as well. Changes will be forthcoming. We will have to wait a d what those will be.

A big off season of change is on the horizon. What those changes turn out to be, we will wait and see....
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