"Despite their extended offseason, it looks like they're still paying summer or preseason hockey. They're just not crisp, and they aren't moving the puck quickly. It's disconcerting."
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We release two Minnesota Sports Ramble blogs a week, one on Tuesday (Minnesota Vikings related) and one on Thursday (Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Timberwolves related).
This blog is in the old school, bullet point "ramble style" format. It was the original format idea for the Rambling On blog at its inception in 2012.
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Slow and unsteady...
The Wild lost their season opener 4-1 to the Colorado Avalanche. There were plenty of reasons why, specifically their lack of offense, but what it really came down to is that they came out slow. They weren't getting pucks deep in the offensive zone and weren't making quick crease passes.
Slight improvement, but needs improvement
In their second game, a 2-1 loss at home to the Las Vegas Golden Knights, they played slightly better. Yet...yet...the same issues that were there in game one were still apparent. Despite their extended offseason, it looks like they're still paying summer or preseason hockey. They're just not crisp, and they're not moving the puck quickly. It's disconcerting.
The best offense is a good offense
So far this year, the Wild simply haven't been moving the puck. Rather than crisp and fast, they are slow and sluggish. Additionally, they haven't been able to complete clean passes and haven't been throwing enough rubber towards the net. Typical Wild stuff that we've been seeing forever. I can't imagine why people aren't excited for this season.
Couldn't see that coming...
You can't get much more "Minnesota sports team" than what transpired in the Wild home opener last Thursday. After blowing a game-long lead with under two minutes left to play, they lost on a shootout goal by former Wild forward Erik Haula. To add another somewhat overlooked angle, Max Pacioretty scored the tying goal. He was a player the Wild, and specifically former GM Chuck Fletcher, had a number of opportunities to trade for the last few years.
Dubnyk returns to the thrilling days of yesteryear
Over two games, Devan Dubnyk has an insane .963 goals against percentage. He is doing it by succeeding at playing his style, and his position and angles have been really good. As we have seen with Dev over the past few seasons, however, he can have these streaks of dominance and then look mediocre for a stretch of games, which is typical of almost every NHL starter. It wouldn't surprise me if he can continue for a few more weeks and then eventually comes back to the pack.
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.