Monday, October 26, 2009

"Reunion week" for the Wild

I can't take credit for the headline, since the Strib's Mike Russo already called it reunion week, but it's an interesting few days for the Wild.

Monday night they play in Chicago, which means it is Martin Havlat's first regular-season game in Chicago since he left there to sign with the Wild. On Wednesday, the Wild host Nashville, where defenseman Greg Zanon played the past couple of years. (It's also the franchise Wild owner Craig Leipold used to own.) On Friday, Marian Gaborik comes back to town with the Rangers, and on Saturday the Wild travel to Pittsburgh, where GM Chuck Fletcher (former GM) and Petr Sykora will receive their Stanley Cup rings from last year. Strange days indeed.

Goofy start to the season. The Wild are 0-7 on the road, 3-0 at home (all three in OT or shootouts) and I'm not sure what to make of this team yet. It seems to me that the talent level is high enough that we should expect a playoff spot, and we just need to fight through an early injury bug and adjust to the new coach's system, and things should be all right. But then I look around at all the teams that seem to be playing well in the Western Conference, and I realize it's going to be tough to dig out of the hole they've created with their slow start. You know Detroit, San Jose, Chicago and Calgary are going to be up there, but now we're looking up at teams like the Kings, Avalanche and Stars. Things have to turn around pretty soon or it's just not going to happen this season.

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