The Rocky Mountain air proved to be too much for the Minnesota Wild team. The Minnesota Wild played strong Monday night, beating the Avalanche 3 to 2 in their second overtime victory in a row and I was sure Tuesday night’s Colorado game would be another close contest, but I was wrong.
The Minnesota Wild let the Colorado Avalanche explode with a 5 -1 victory, once again tieing this NHL playoff series. The one glaring difference between the Minnesota Wild team and the Colorado Avalanche team is the way they play defense. The Colorado team is always blocking shots, if their defenseman sees one of our skill players winding up with the puck, they hit the ice, they use their bodies to block shots. With the exception of Stephane Veilleux, I haven’t seen one Minnesota Wild player dive to the ice to block a Colorado Avalanche shot.
As most Wild fans know, Nick Schultz is out of the Wild line-up due to recent appendectomy surgery and I think Jacques Lemaire and the Minnesota Wild have underestimated the effect that defenseman Nick Schultz has on this team. Schultz is a steady defenseman and he doesn’t make mistakes and when guys are playing on his line, they often play UP to his level. I know that if Nick Schultz been on the ice Tuesday night, the score wouldn’t have been 5 to 1, no way. Schultz keeps his composure and expects the other guys on the ice to do the same, all those penalties, it was embarrassing. Sure the Avs’ took some dives, but the Wild have got to play more disciplined hockey.