Rambling On is Minnesota sports talk for the common fan. Check out our daily content and conversation on Twitter and Facebook.
Our three weekly Minnesota Sports Ramble blogs are released on Tuesday (Minnesota Vikings related), Wednesday (Minnesota Wild related), and Friday (Minnesota Timberwolves related).
A victory against the Canucks, the Wild's recent slump, bad bounces in Toronto, "outworked" against the Blue Jackets, and the teams playoff chances are discussed in this edition. As usual, Wild analyst Peter Ripka answers questions from Rambling On god-king Erik Ritland.
Thanks for your support!
The Wild beat the Canucks in Vancouver 3-2 last night. Who do we owe that victory to? What thoughts did you have on the game?
That victory was all about special teams and Dubnyk returning to better form. Going 3-for-3 with the man advantage was the biggest key, since they dominated at times at full-strength but didn't convert.
Before their victory in Vancouver, the Wild had been slumping, having lost three games in a row and five of their last seven. Is this dip in the Central Division, all the way down to fifth, concerning to you? Which Wild team do you think we have, the one that had been winning before or this iteration?
It isn't concerning to me. I think the team is somewhere in the middle. They stopped doing the little things and got too cute for two of those three losses. I think this team should be in the 2-4 spot in the central when this season is all said and done.
What happened in the Wilds loss to Toronto? People seem to think that they played pretty well.
The Wild played a really good game against the Leafs. Outside of a few fluky bounces, they deserved to win that game.
Bruce Boudreau said that the Wild were "outworked" in their loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. How was this true? Was this their only problem that game?
They were just slow to every loose puck. They weren't getting pucks deep on dump ins and were getting chased in the defensive zone. You could definitely call that being outworked in coach speech. Dubnyk wasn't as good he needs to be either, and that also contributed.
At this point, what percentage chance do you think there is that the Wild make the playoffs?
I would put their playoff probability in the upper 80s percent-wise. I think it could be higher if they had more consistent play. The West, and the Central Division specifically, is very tough.
Peter Ripka is the original Rambling On podcast co-host and has been a contributor since its inception. He’s currently the Wild analyst, a position he’s held for several years. A Wild and Twins season ticket holder, his writing combines the passion of a fan and the insight of a beat writer.