Torchetti passes: Wild win third in a row under new coach
Yes, the Minnesota Wild still find themselves outside of the Western Conference playoff picture.
And, yes, it’s easy to poke holes in three straight wins when you put them in a context of beating some rather vulnerable opponents.
Quibbles like those don’t really matter that much, at least not right now. Not when the Wild are 3-for-3 under John Torchetti, acing a three-game road trip after Thursday’s 5-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers.
They made a little bit of history, too, and not the “overly specific and kind of meaningless” sort of stuff:
That’s pretty cool, if not maybe a minor indictment on the franchise’s longer reputation as a defense-first (second and third) outfit.
That refreshed feeling might be almost as important as the on-ice improvements:
Kuemper: it’s nice to see the smiles on everyone’s faces again and having some fun coming to the rink.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 19, 2016
Coyle: It’s a world of difference it feels like. All of a sudden we feel so good about ourselves, our confidence is growing each game.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 19, 2016
(And so on.)
Those quotes are quite an improvement from the “Not much else to say ..."-type depressing reactions Wild players were providing toward the last days of the Mike Yeo era.
The schedule really has been conducive to a hot start for Torchetti, though. The real test starts this weekend, as they face the Blackhawks on Sunday, the Islanders on Tuesday, the scrappy Flyers on Thursday and then finish the month with games against the Capitals and Panthers.
In other words, this is promising for the Wild, but check back to see if everyone’s as excited when March begins.