Coming into the season, nobody pegged the Minnesota Wild as Stanley Cup contenders. They were, however, decisive playoff contenders in the Western Conference. Given their core group, and improving cast of supporting players, there’s no doubt this team could make some noise out West.
That hasn’t happened yet, though. In fact, the Wild have gotten off to one of the more miserable starts in the league here in the first couple of weeks of the regular season. They’ve managed only four points through four games, with their first win not coming until their fourth tilt of the season.
Should they be concerned over their slow start? The simple answer here is no. Regardless of the state of the club, whether you’re an expected playoff contender or the Calgary Flames, there isn’t a reason to panic four games into an 82-game slate. Especially when you’re as strong on paper as the Wild are.
That doesn’t mean that they’re not doing everything they can to get it turned around immediately, of course. Slow starts can snowball and the Wild don’t want to reach the point in the spring where every game becomes a must-win. They’ve changed some things up in hopes of getting on a bit of a roll here.
It’s also worth noting that the Wild haven’t exactly been outplayed in any of their three losses. Two of those three losses came after regulation, meaning they were still able to pick up points. While only nine goals in four games isn’t the most impressive total, their goal differential is only -2, so they’re hanging in there even in the losses.
The long and short of it is that the Wild are a playoff contender. That much is certain. Four games into a long season isn’t any reason to panic. They’ll be just fine in the long run. Having Niklas Backstrom out doesn’t help, but when he gets healthy and the big names on this team find traction, they’ll get on a roll and be just fine, even if the results aren’t terrific right now.