Losers in eight of their last 10 games, and looking completely lifeless Sunday night, there is no doubt that something needs to happen to the Minnesota Wild roster.
When you get booed off the ice at the XCel Energy Center, and your name isn't Todd Bertuzzi, you've probably done something terribly wrong.
The Wild are simply pathetic right now, and the smart hockey fans in Minnesota are well aware of the problems. The team was out-shot 27-10 through two periods, and they were getting mock cheers from the crowd for simply getting weak shots on net.
Jacques Lemaire-coached teams pride themselves on their effort. When the effort is there, the execution and overall performance are lacking because the team lacks a go-to offensive player.
When the effort isn't there, ugliness ensues, and the hockey becomes completely unwatchable.
No one could hide from it, given the frustration of the fans Sunday night. Even Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter Michael Russo couldn't hide from it, and he doesn't even get to make any of the important decisions.
Russo here, back up in the press box after watching the second period in the stands. Cal Clutterbuck just scored a breakaway goal. The place exploded because it just might have been the Wild's first scoring chance of the game.After the game, center Mikko Koivu said what everyone in the stands was thinking during the game.
It was ugly downstairs. I tried to hide, but in the first 10 minutes, I was bombarded by disgruntled fans who wanted virtually everybody fired and/or traded.
"We had one guy tonight, and that was [goaltender Niklas] Backstrom, who had the effort to play this game in front of this crowd.Listen, I'm not a dummy. I know Jacques isn't getting fired, and with how hilarious it is to listen to his press conferences, it's going to take an act of total incompetence (like, say, putting Kim Johnsson in goal for Backstrom) for me to advocate that he be ousted.
"If that's not going to change, there's something wrong inside of the team in every player in this room.
"With the goalie alone there, it's not going to work like that."
What needs to happen is a roster shakeup. I'm all in favor of continuing to play youngsters like Krys Kolanos and Colton Gillies, who have promise. I'm not in favor of useless veterans staying in the lineup every night because the team allegedly has no other options.
The best player in franchise history has a glass groin. With all the rumors swirling about Marian Gaborik being traded, general manager Doug Risebrough needs to either put the rumors to bed by saying unequivocally that Gaborik isn't going anywhere, or just make a deal and allow the team to move on.
Gaborik won't help the Wild as long as the drama is allowed to drag out, and the Wild need help. They're in last place in the Northwest Division, they are five points ahead of last-place St. Louis in the Western Conference, and their next three games are against the three division leaders in the conference (Calgary, San Jose, and Detroit).