With the offseason additions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, Wild executives showed the citizens of the State of Hockey that they were willing to go all out for success.
The lockout tried to stymie the excitement but failed as the season began with a buzz that this state has not seen in a long time. The Wild fed off of this excitement and played very well for the majority of the season, but a late season skid plus a tight Western Conference made things difficult for them. Once again, the ownership and executives took the team’s immediate interests upon through the acquisition of Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville at the trade deadline. This again showed hockey fans that the Wild were going to give it a serious push.
Right now they need to win at least one of their last two games to clinch a playoff spot, and there is nothing more important than that in the Minnesota sporting world. Everyone knows that this is the state of hockey so for that reason alone it is important for them to make the playoffs. It extends, however, to the status of the other Minnesota teams as well.
It’s been a long time for Minnesota fans. The last professional championship for any sport in the Minnesota area came in 1991 when the Minnesota Twins won the World Series in an epic showdown with the Atlanta Braves. Since then, the Twins have made their share of playoff appearances, but they’ve never managed to make it back to the October Classic.
The Vikings have made it a few times with only one real shot at anything special — that coming in 2009 when they made the NFC Championship and well, Brett Favre happened, enough said.
The Wild, having emerged onto the Minnesota sports scene just over a decade ago, have made the postseason just three times with only one serious run to their name.
And the Timberwolves are the Timberwolves.
There has not been athletic promise or any hopes in Minnesota since that fateful day in New Orleans back in 2009. That is, until now.
While other teams appear to be fading towards the mediocre abyss, the Wild are clearly trending. They have their first team captain in Mikko Koivu out there along with three former captains for their past teams. They have seasoned veterans that straight up know how to score, and they have a goaltender who is about as solid as one can get in Niklas Backstrom. Not to mention, they have some of the best rookies in the game, including young defenseman Jonas Brodin who is no older than the majority of the first year Johnnies and Bennies.
They are stacked and young, a dangerous combination for any team to face.
The state of Minnesota needs this playoff appearance because it shows a future for the Wild, and this playoff appearance would be the start that they need. Every major plan starts someplace, and this is the first step they need to take in order to move on to a future of success.