Gettin’ Better Everyday

Wasn’t that a Tesla song? They had more songs than “Signs” ya know…

Wild put together a very nice game tonite in Colorado. Niklas Backstrom got the shutout in net and Owen Nolan scored both Wild goals and the Wizzy win 2-0. Tonite’s game is how I envisioned the Wild needing to play to make the playoffs. Gritty on offense and very strong defensively. It helped that the Avs are not very good right now and can’t score goals, but we’ll take ‘em where we can get ‘em. And just like that the Wild are starting to look like a team that could make some headway.

FSN color guy Mike Greenlay made an interesting point. Actually I think it was a question from a fan via text message, but Greenlay answered it. It just might be that with Marian Gaborik having surgery tomorrow and now the team knows he will be out for most of the season, they now know they don’t have him waiting in the wings to “rescue” them. Each player knows that they need to get their job done and step up their games. The Gabby thing isn’t hanging over their heads anymore. So hopefully now they know what they need to do to beat teams. I harp on the the fact that the Wild are not very talented up front, especially without Gaborik, but if you think about it, a few of the Wild forwards have not lived up to expectations this year. Pierre-Marc Bouchard needs to find himself. James Sheppard has developed slowly (although he’s been good of late). Benoit Pouliot is back on coach Jacques’ bleep list. Andrew Brunette hasn’t scored in quite some time. Add to that the fact we’ve got a bunch of kids from Houston trying to play NHL hockey. It’s easy to see why it’s been a tough go the last month.

But the recent play of Owen Nolan has me fired up. If he can stay healthy, he gives this team grit, leadership, and a sense that they can persevere. Keep the “C” on Koivu, keep Nolan with the “A” and I think we’ll see the Wizzy build some character they will once again make us proud.

And if not, then we go after Risebrough. At least this fan is watching again.

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