This was a solid game, all the way until the Sedin breakaway. Then, hope vanished. Great time for an additional goal, if you are a Vancouver fan, pretty bad time, if you are a Wild fan.
Here we go…
Why the Wild lost:
1) Roberto Luongo – This guy is good. He made at least 5 saves which were huge, crazy, or impossible. I was very impressed frankly, three shutouts in a row, even if I want his team to lose, I have to give credit where credit is due.
2) Not taking advantage of the PP – The wild continue to boggle my mind. They are still looking for that pass, the perfect pass, which rarely exists. Also, how is it that the Wild can’t get into the zone, and start from go. Their third PP, it took them 30 seconds to even get the puck into the zone. It was cleared on the face-off, then it took 30 seconds, a quarter of their PP, to get the puck into the zone, let alone a shot on goal. I am very frustrated by the anemic aspect of what should be a genuine scoring situation every time.
3) Penalties – When you take three in the first, and give up a PP goal in the first, you are setting yourself up for failure. The second period was better, but, again, in the third, they took some dumb penalties. I need to see some disciplined hockey again, and preferably for stretches of games at a time.
Why the Wild could have Won:
1) Blocked Shots – I think that Nick Schultz averages 7-8 blocked shots per game, and yet his team averages, what, 9 shots on goal per game??? Ok, so I am exaggerating, but, as the Wild are making it a habit of getting grossly out shot, these blocks play a huge role in keeping the Wild from being down big early. Keep giving up the body guys, your team needs it.
2) 2nd Period – A great period. If they could click save on what they did here, and repeat it always…I would gladly take that effort every day, every period. Good passes, great hitting and playing smart. Heck, they didn’t get outshot that period either!
3) Pouliot/Boogaard/Weller – They looked really good tonight. Banged the bodies, took some shots even. They had the best shifts in my opinion, and one of these days, they are going to get the puck in the back of the net. More effort from all lines like these guys played, and more wins will come with said effort.
What else did people see? All-in-all, not a bad effort, ran into a hot goalie, and had a few key mistakes.