THE WILD WIRE - BLOG #24Mar 26, 2018
NO NEED TO PANIC
I understand, Wild fans, I really do.
I understand the frustration and the anguish.
I understand that late March is an ill-advised time for a 0-4-0-1 stretch when you’re battling for your playoff lives.
But the Wild was dealt a tough hand the last two weekends, and here’s why:
On the back end of both three-in-threes, the Wild played a team that was off the night before.
One week ago today, the Wild hosted the Rockford IceHogs and lost, 5-2. On March 18 (one day prior), the Wild was in action in Rosemont, Illinois, while the Ice Hogs were waiting in Des Moines.
Yesterday, Iowa was blitzed in Milwaukee, falling 7-2. One night earlier (March 24), the Wild played at home against Grand Rapids, while, you guessed it, the Admirals were idle and got a good night’s sleep (presumably) in their own beds.
In both games – remember it was the third game in three days for the Wild – the opponent scored somewhat early. In both games, the Wild eventually trailed 2-0. You can try to get yourself ready mentally, you can say all the right things going into the game, but the harsh reality is that the opposition had a clear advantage in both situations, and they took full advantage.
There are no excuses in this industry. No one in the Central Division is going to feel sorry for the Iowa Wild because every team goes through these tough scheduling scenarios.
The important thing now is how the Wild responds.
They wake up today, on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, for the first time since the middle of January. And with a five-game winless skid (their longest of the season) currently hurting their postseason chances, there are still nine games to go, and four of them come against the Ice Hogs and the Admirals. And, they’re only ONE point behind Rockford for fourth. The Ice Hogs, by the way, play tonight in Manitoba.
At this point, here’s the most likely scenario for the Central Division standings when the regular season ends in a few weeks:
- Manitoba Moose
- Chicago Wolves
- Grand Rapids Griffins
4th – 6th…..up for grabs between Iowa, Milwaukee and Rockford. And with 4th place equaling the final playoff spot, it means two of the above teams are going to be left watching the Calder Cup Playoffs from home.
Nine games. Win six, and you’re probably in. It all starts Wednesday, on the road, against the Wolves.
And knowing the character of this team, I’m certain they’ll respond with poise and intensity and give it everything they have down the stretch.
Every year, the sports world gets consumed by March Madness.
Well, starting April 5 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, the hockey world’s version of bracketology wraps up with the Frozen Four.
Here are the matchups:
Minnesota Duluth (#3) vs. Ohio State (#1)
Michigan (#2) vs. Notre Dame (#1)
The winner of each of those games will play for the men’s D1 championship on April 7.
You can watch the semi-final games on ESPN 2, while the national championship game is on ESPN.
Pretty cool to have these games in the home of the Minnesota Wild. If you’ve never watched big boy college hockey before, you’re missing out. Games of this magnitude are often extremely physical and fast and these kids will absolutely “empty the tank” in an effort to become champs.
Check it out…and no excuses because the Iowa Wild don’t play either night. I know I’ll be tuned in.
- Wild Joe Radio