Will things change when/if Gabby and Dupuis return?
Maybe I'm just in a "down" mood today, but I can't help but think that this might be a long season regardless of whether our holdouts sign. The players all say that the absences of Gabby and Dupuis don't matter and that they're focusing on the players currently out on the ice, but you can see that this team just doesn't have the confidence and hunger that they had last year. In 2002-03, the Wild truly believed they could beat anyone and I believed as well. This year, the team just doesn't seem to have that same energy. They seem almost dejected. I think a lot of you have seen it too.
But I'm wondering whether the return of Gaborik and Dupuis will really change anything. I hope they can reclaim that hunger, but I'm a little nervous about it.
So what do you think? If Gabby and Dupuis sign back up, are the Wild gonna push for last year's point total? Playoffs? Or are we looking at Season #2 here?
Personally, I thought the playoffs would be a close call back when I thought the holdouts would be resolved before camp. Last year was pretty unique, IMO. The team really clicked together, and other teams ran into some problems. The moves/changes made by some other teams in the conference made me think we'd need a pretty big improvement to squeak into the playoffs this season. Still, I'll admit I got caught up in expecting more. We'll have to see. Maybe all they need is a spark, and Gaborik or Dupuis could provide it. *shrug*
I would think that a cross between season #2 and #3. Points should be better then #2 but I don't think the playoffs are a certainty. Maybe a fringe team.
Last season has spoiled the Wild fans IMO. There is way to high of expectations for this team. Last season wasn't necessarily a fluke, but practically everything went right for this team and we were the 7th seed. We didn't really have a crippling injury or someone that was considered a top player didn't have a poor year.
The season is by no means over, but things have gotten off on the wrong foot IMO. If one of the goalies could get hot, this team could start moving up the ladder and out of the cellar and things could turn around just as quickly. If things stay the same and we seem to be in the middle of the pact, I would hope DR would start intergrating some of the younger guys into the lineup. Lets see if these guys are really the future. I'm not asking that we dump every vet for young guys, but lets see these guys get more then 3 games and then sent down for someone who has no upside whatsoever. Hopefully I'm being really pessimistic and things will pick up.