This is new territory for the Minnesota Wild. No, not the part where the wheels completely fall off for a long stretch of time. This group has gone through that plenty of times over the years. Nothing new there.
What’s new is clinching a playoff spot so early.
It’s new to perform so well for most of the season that the final stretch of the season doesn’t come with any motivation. The Wild are not going to catch Chicago for first place in the Central Division. It would take a colossal failure to drop out of second place, something they’re giving the old college try.
It’s a weird kind of adversity for the Wild, if you can call it that. They have a comfortable spot in the standings, and just need the playoffs to begin.
And, as is often the case with this group, they’re not handling adversity particularly well.