When your lineup lacks talent it shows.
With Parise, Coyle, and Niederreiter still sidelined with injuries, the Wild aren’t the same team. They also tend to struggle without a knife at their backs, so this defeat came somewhat expectedly. Although the Wild have the depth to cover losses from injuries, they are lacking the heart and effort to accomplish consistent victories.
It was Great to see Granlund back. He looked a little rusty out there, but will eventually have a huge impact on this lineup, when fully integrated and conditioned. The Canucks have been playing some good hockey as of late, so it doesn’t surprise me that the Wild weren’t prepared.
On the positive, the Wild still resemble the team that dominated last season. They won every important statistical category in this game, outside the most important one, which is obviously goals. Although a positive, this trend is also very frustrating. We watched the Wild lose a playoff series last year, while they outplayed the opponent throughout the entire set.
They need to get healthier, but the new players also need to adjust to the faster game play of the NHL. You are starting to see that with Kunin and Ek. Kloos looked like a guy in his first NHL game, as expected. As the games continue, I bet we will see the Wild adjust and start to build some wins, with injured players coming back. Go Wild!
Wild Game Recap and Boudreau Press Conference (Video: NHL.com):
Photo: Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images