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Time to worry? Wild lose to Flames

Apr 21, 2013, 8:46 PM EDT

wildcrashgetty Getty Images

It seemed like the Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets merely had the West’s eighth seed to fight over in the 2013 season’s last week. When you consider the significant struggles of the seventh-ranked Minnesota Wild, things might get that much more interesting.

Minnesota flopped 4-1 to the lowly Calgary Flames on Sunday, dropping its April record to 3-7-1 in 11 games. It’s also the team’s fifth consecutive loss at home.

Most importantly, this defeat leaves the Wild with precious little breathing room:

7. Minnesota – 51 points with three games left (20 regulation/overtime wins)
8. Columbus – 49 points with three games left (16 ROW)
9. Detroit – 48 points with four games left (18 ROW)
10. Dallas – 47 points with four games left (20 ROW)
11. Phoenix – 46 points with four games left (15 ROW)

While the Phoenix Coyotes are a pretty big longshot, the Stars’ chances are more solid than they might seem because Dallas hosts Columbus on April 25 and then finishes the season with a home game against Detroit on April 27.

Minnesota still has a buffer, so more than a few teams will probably root for the Los Angeles Kings to beat them on Tuesday. After that, the Wild face two of the NHL’s worst teams – albeit division rivals who might delight in spoiling their fun – in the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers.

Then again, the Wild were expected to beat the Flames tonight, so that shows us how unsafe it is to make assumptions about the West playoff race.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo points out that the Wild’s front office is confident enough to put postseason tickets on sale, though:

  1. atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    From the Flames standpoint I was beginning to worry because they’re playing themselves out of a top pick but the reality is they have 4 picks in the top 40 (likely top 36) so they’ll have the ability to trade up and get the player they want. And I’m certainly happy to see the young players coming up and showing that they can play at this level, maybe Feaster knows what he’s doing?

    The Flames have several young players showing lots of promise, 4 picks in the top 40, $24 million in cap space before they buy anyone out (Cammalleri or Tanguay seem like the obvious choices) there’s a chance this rebuild gets done rather quickly, If they can manage to get a top center like Barkov or MacKinnon it’ll certainly help.

    Oh and one more thing…not sure if you’ve looked at the standings Oilers fans but the Flames are now ahead of you, and the Flames have also out scored (by a decent margin) your “young, exciting, highflying” team…I can’t wait for a year from now when you look at the Flames and realize its possible to rebuild without having to draft first overall 3 years in a row, but at least you’ve got all those small injury prone players to watch head to the pressbox nightly!

    • ray2013 - Apr 22, 2013 at 4:38 AM

      My brother goes to a bunch of Flames games a year. One of the interesting things he noted was that when Iginla was out of the lineup the last year or two, the team seemed to do a lot better. Not because Iginla was a bad player; but that they were so predictable when Iggy was on the ice.

      With Iggy, skate down the ice, and spend your whole time in the offensive zone trying to pass it to Iggy so he could shoot. Key in on Iggy, and you could shut down the Flames offence. He actually predicted they would do better after the trade, and it seems like he’s right so far.

      But looking at last year, there was a chance for Columbus to move down a handful of picks in exchange for ALL of the Islander picks and they rejected it. Do you really think that a team with the chance to draft Jones or MacKinnon will trade down to pick up an extra third rounder? I appreciate they’re all playing for a roster spot next year, but it wouldn’t hurt the team to end on a losing streak.

  2. bryguy39 - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Backstrom Blows

    • rsmaggiemae - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:28 PM

      The Wild better get a new coach like the bronze statue outside of the ExCell
      HERB BROOKS He got the most out of every player at every position for every game.
      I am tired of Yeo’s excuses all the time. Its we did not have training camp, then we have to learn to play lines together,then we are tired from the road trips and now its we have to play better, well the other very good teams went through the same issues and look where they are in the standings…. 6-9 of the players give 110 percent each game, while the rest just want to get into round one of the play offs, lose and play golf.
      I dont see the gusto, the energy the fire in thier eyes to play every nite.
      Like Brodziak said after winning in Calgary we have it turned around… like heck you do.
      and Setegouchi said that its hard playing against Burns of the Sharks, well does he just want to play easy teams, what is he being paid for….
      this team had better get revamped for next year… there are plenty of them that should be traded and the Wild can start all over and use some of thier younger players from thier farm team, at least they try
      This is why I did not renew my season tickets and wont for next year either.
      With what some of these lower paid players make in 4-5 days is more than most people earn in a year, they should be up on thier game every game, if I did not do my job to my best every day, I would get fired…. and they should also.
      I just hate to see the fans get ripped off as its expensive for tickets, parking, food and what ever you buy at the arena…
      Granted, everyone has a off day, but this is getting ridiculous especially if you pay for the tickets….
      I just had to vent..,.,
      Could not belive they lost to Calgary tonite and I am sure they will lose to the Kings on Tuesday nite, maybe Edmionton after that and the final at Colorado.

      • windmiller4 - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        You sir, are clueless. I’m no wild fan by any means, in fact i hate them. But anyone who’s knowledgable about hockey can see that Mike Yeo is a very good coach who will be around for a very long time. If you watched the game you’d know that Joey McDonald is the main reason the wild lost, he made several saves that could’ve been goals. and dont B!tch about ticket prices and all that, if you pay to go watch a game you know full well theres a chance the wild could lose.

  3. joeyashwi - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    Pathetic. It’s really all I can say at this point.

  4. getadealdonealready - Apr 21, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Two things are killing this team right now. First and foremost their special teams is horrendous. They struggle getting set up and scoring on the PP, and get scored on on a fairly regular basis with the first 30 seconds of their PK. They have less then a week to figure this out, otherwise they will have no shot to beat anyone in the playoff’s.

    While I’ve never been a backstrom fan, it’s very disturbing how they seem to get shut down by back up goalies, I’m not sure how many times it’s happened but they seem to struggle against teams second goalie? While on the flip side they have over used their starter and he appears to be out of gas as they approach the most important stretch of the season. I’m very worried for this team will not make the playoffs.

  5. phillyphannn83 - Apr 22, 2013 at 2:36 AM

    they deserve to lose. come join us on the outside looking in.

  6. porkchopexpress1969 - Apr 22, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    2 things:

    1. Poor Coaching. Yeo flat out stinks. Never liked him never will

    2. Poor Goal tending. Backstrom is an ok goalie, not an elite goalie. instead of trading for Pomerville or others, you should of been looking for a goalie. Or Play the kid in behind Backstrom more.

  7. nananatman - Apr 22, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I think the real story is the Flames winning again and the writer barely mentions it, it isn’t like the last 4 teams they beat were in garbage time, they beat teams trying to get into the playoffs. Whichever lines they’re using they should keep.

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