The Minnesota Wild have run into something only NFL teams encounter in their schedules. An entire week off.
Yes, there will be practices, and the team will still have work to do, but after they play the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night, they do not have another game for a week. This time off will be welcome for the players nursing injuries, and for those players whose bodies have aged a bit and could simply use some time to recuperate. A full week of rest and conditioning would be welcome in anyone's locker room.
Time off is not always a good thing. Remeber back to your school days when you would come back from spring break and not remember your locker combination? That tends to be the Wild. They forget things on long layoffs, like how to QB a power play, how to run a breakout of the defensive zone, and how to block a shot. Just this past week, they played amazing hockey against the Canucks and the Flames, then had two days off in San Jose and laid an egg against the Sharks.
How they play against the Hawks could set the tone for this long break. If they play well, the break could be a fun occasion full of spirited practices and relaxing video sessions. If they play like they did against the Sharks, it could be a week of rough, beat down, frustrating practices and lectures from a coach who knows what this team can really do.
It's all up to the guys in the jerseys to make that decision. For now, we focus on the Hawks on Tuesday night. We'll see you then.