I sure hope the decimated Aeros' don't have to play for home ice on Sunday; they need Texas and Peoria to lose at least one of their remaining games this weekend.
The Minnesota Infirmary continues to lose players to injury and need the services of the Aeros just to get through two more games in their pitiful regular season. Carson McMillan, Max Noreau, Jed Ortmeyer and Colton Gillies (Am I missing anybody?) continue to be on recall and will not play Sunday. Now the Aeros will be without Bagnall, who was recalled today as the team chose to send Justin Falk back to the Aeros.
All reports tend to indicate that Falk had a lousy game in Vancouver Thursday ... and he is taking a lot of heat today for not sticking up for PM Bouchard, who was cold-cocked by one of the Canuck's players. Max Noreau did not play well either, and I really hope he redeems himself this weekend. He is truly deserving of this opportunity, and until Thursday, I thought he had been holding his own.
This comment from Russo's blog really highlights what it is like to play for the Wild right now. The Aeros are the lone bright spot for the organization right now, and you can count on seeing a lot of Jim Mill in Houston over (what Aeros fans hope) the next month or so.
"The Wild's locker room is a lifeless, demoralizing place to be right now. After this one, players were blank-faced, frustrated, etc. Kyle Brodziak was just staring at the ground for five minutes. This isn't fun and the offseason can't get here quick enough."
There are many NHL experts that are absolutely certain that Todd Richards will be fired shortly after the Wild's regular season ends on Sunday. The prevailing thought is that a veteran coach will get the gig, but I just don't see how that is going to help a team that is devoid of any real offensive talent.
Even still, the Wild were THIS close to making the playoffs even with what they had. They absolutely fell apart right after Koivu went down with his injury. Are they one player away from getting it done? Or do they just need luck on their side to stay healthier when it counts?
I hate to spend so much time talking about the Wild this morning, but I think The Wild's late-season injury and performance woes will affect the first few Aeros playoff games. Mike Yeo and Co. always talk about playing the right way and getting into a groove so you don't to have to just "turn it on" come playoff time. Well, guess what -- with how little time they have all had together in the last two weeks -- they are going to have to do come next week.