from Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune, The 2011-12 Wild rates among the major flops in the 45 years that the Twin Cities has been a full-service pro sports market. I date that to the debut of the North Stars in 1967; we’ve been in at least three of the four major leagues since then.
The Wild had won 20 of 30 games through Dec. 10. It was leading the NHL with 43 points. One thing evident since the NHL added three-point games to the mix in 2005: With that free point available for losing in 4-on-4 overtime or a shootout, it is more difficult to make up a deficit in the NHL playoff race than in any other major sport.
The Skating W’s beat the odds by going in the tank for 3 1/2 months. They were buried in the playoff race earlier than in 2010-11, a 39-win, 86-point season that got Todd Richards fired immediately after it was over.