In the process of losing 15 times in 17 games from mid-December to late January, the Wild had developed a habit of treating most nights as a crucible for how they were developing. They began with the premise that they were good enough to beat most teams in the NHL when at their best - which seemed sound, considering they had the best record in the league on Dec. 12 - and figured most of their problems were self-inflicted.
And heading into the all-star break with two emphatic wins, their premise appeared to be correct; they were back to playing the way they had in November and December, and they came into Tuesday's game against Nashville feeling good again.
But this game? This had no instructional value. How could it, when the Wild spent 50 minutes controlling the game against the fourth-best team in the Western Conference, only to leave without a point after a four-goal meltdown in the final 10:38?
If the response to many of the Wild's losses in the past two months has be...