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Fall from grace complete: Minnesota mathematically eliminated from playoff contention

Mar 26, 2012, 10:23 AM EDT

Matt Hackett, Alex Ovechkin AP

This season will end the way each of the three previous to it have for the Minnesota Wild: Out of the playoffs.

The Wild’s loss to Washington yesterday mathematically eliminated the Wild from playoff contention and according to Michael Russo of The Star Tribune, things could possibly get worse for the team standings-wise.

That seems like an eternity ago, as does that Dec. 13 game at Winnipeg when the Wild was still first in the league. Now? It is 25th – but one point up on 29th, which would give the Wild the second-best possibility of winning the April 10 draft lottery and the right to pick No. 1 in the June draft. 

The Wild’s fall from grace is one of the more incredible feats we’ve seen this season and it’s impressive for all the wrong reasons.

Hockey Wilderness pointed out after yesterday’s game that Minnesota will be the first team to miss the playoffs after being in first place in December. The Wild were in first place as late as December 17 but since then they’ve gone a paltry 11-26-5. Minnesota won’t be alone in their fall-from-grace shame, however, as the Maple Leafs are on the brink of elimination themselves. Misery does love company after all.

  1. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    It has been a crazy ride this year but I am in no way surprised my Wild will miss the playoffs (my opinion when the year started)… I thought back in the summer that this team would have to be healthy, very healthy jsut to slide into the 7th / 8th seed but I assumed we wouldn’t seen as we have a few guys made of glass…. I am rooting for a fail for Nail and a chance at getting more ping pong balls.

    It is very possible that the Wild end up with the 2nd worst record in the NHL and will own the tie breaker over any team in the standings seeing as they have the worst goals for scored… I am happy to get a top pick this year, it’s just fitting in Minnesota fashion that it’s a weak draft btu what can you do. I expect the Wild’s big board to look like Yakupov / Forsberg / Murray / Galchenyuk / Grigorenko / Trouba. I will be happy with any of those and add our prospects in the mix next year and a hopeful signing of Suter / Parise ……. maybe Semin :( … something. The future looks very bright.

    GM Chuck (Lord) Fletcher has done an amazing job and I am really looking forward to watching Charlie Coyle in a Wild jersey soon, he is rolling in the Q. He has 6 goals and what 8 assists in the first two playoff games, impressive!

    • sknut - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:02 AM

      gb-I agree with your statements, I felt a 7 or 8 seed was possible with Seto and Heatley and Gui but obviously we have learned that concussions are a pain and that derailed the 2nd line from the start. As far as their draft position i am almost wondering if a stud d-man isn’t the way to go. They have plenty of forwards in the system and out side of Brodin and maybe Scandella they seem to lack an upper end d-man. Either way with the way Fletcher has drafted I have the upmost confidence they will get it right and next year looks bright for Wild fans.

      • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        I agree a top dman would be the way to go but the issue (my opinion) is I don’t think there isn’t a Dman I would feel great in taking in the Top 3 or even 5… Murray looks to be the steady eddy kind of guy but lacks big game potential and Trouba needs time to develop and could be two years out. I jsut have my fingers crossed we somehow win the lottery and then we don’t have to think of whom we will be drafting for a month or so

  2. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    sorry for the spelling mistakes… and I looked at Coyle’s stats, it’s 6 Goals / 5 Assists, in the first two playoff games :D

  3. Christian Bullock - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Very strange. I don’t think any players were changed much or any coaching personnel…? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • sknut - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      No but injuries started piling up and there is little to no minor league depth to help with scoring and after the trades of Zanon and Schultz and Zid’s there were very few experienced d-men so its been a rough go of it.

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      Injuries x 1BILLION!

      half of our top 6 has been injured all year long, Latendresse and Boouchard have been gone, with Setoguchi injured off and on (also getting ran over this summer by a car), Koivu injured, goalie injuries. The Wild have had two of their 4 lines been formed from their AHL roster hald of the season, and I think they have started 25 or so rookies this year? It’s some crazy stat.

      This team has seen more injuries than any other, and it’s not close.

      Not that it bothers me but it would have been nice to see this team healthy just because we would have made the plaoffs and then lost in the first round LOL but hey, we would have been there

      • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Jesus, I really need to start proof reading!

        Doing this on the low at work isn’t as easy as it may seem :) HA!

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      They were also simply not as good as their record before the injuries set in.

      Don’t get me wrong, Wild fans deserved better than what they got and the Wild are certainly a team that would have been capable of fighting for a playoff spot had they remained healthy.. but anything more than a glance at the stats in December and it was pretty clear that team was going to be in tough to remain at the top of the standings.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Mar 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        Right, and the thing that most people overlooked during their time at the top was that most of their wins came against teams that either have been terrible all season long or hadn’t hit their stride yet. This team has a lot of potential obviously, and next year is looking better and better all the time. gbcheesefatties noted Coyle in the QMJHL playoffs but he forgot to mention Phillips too w/ 8pts/2 gms. The Wild could have 2, if not 3 stacked lines next year. Should be fun.

      • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Mar 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

        I left Phillips out for a reason, I honestly don’t seem him cracking the Wild’s lineup anytime soon, if ever. Coyle is the better talent between the two prospects….

        Phillips badly needs to work on his skating but he can get away with that issue of his game in the Q where it will be a huge problem in the AHL – NHL. I hope he proves me wrong and can become a realistic 2nd / 3rd line C but the Wild have the center position on lock down for the next 5 years by the looks of things.

        Koivu
        Granlund
        Coyle – he can also play the wing and I assume he will in the NHL
        Brodziak
        Culler – will move to wing next year
        and a few other prospects but you wouldn’t throw Phillips on the 4th line, seems like a waste of a late 1st round pick. I assume Phillips will be treated eventually if not this summer.

  4. 8man - Mar 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    For awhile there, I thought my Bruins were going to collapse. But they aren’t out of the woods yet.

  5. norseman81 - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Fail for Nail or just fail to get another asset. I agree I would like us to take a defenseman that is close to NHL ready. Maybe we could always trade the pick too. We have a bunch of Kids coming up and that is the key word there “kids.” We will have depth but we need more established Vets to round out a playoff roster. Projected Lineup without FA

    Granlund Koivu Heatley
    Seto Cullen Coyle
    Bulmer Brodziak Johnson
    Clutter Larsson Powe

    With or without the potential of Parise signing I like this lineup. Did I forget anyone? Bouchard and GUI are done.

    Zucker AHL or Denver
    Phillips AHL
    Larsson maybe AHL to get top six minutes
    Brodin is NHL ready and will be thrown to wolves

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