Minnesota Wild @ Detroit Red Wings: The Morning After

Detroit Red Wings 3-2 Minnesota Wild

Well, this game pretty much tells the story of the season, doesn't it? Outshot, out played, overmatched, but thanks to Niklas Backstrom the Wild are just good enough to stick around and be in the thick of it until the end.

The Detroit Red Wings are an incredibly solid team. They have playmakers, finishers, offensive defensemen, solid backchecking, decent play in their own end, but they lack a top-tier goalie. Chris Osgood certainly proved that today, somehow allowing Cal Clutterbuck to notch his 10th of the season.

Minnesota was outshot 16-7 in the first period, yes thanks to Osgood's gift to Clutterbuck, only found themselves down 2-1. The second period was more of the same. Niklas Backstrom fought off the Detroit machine and the Wild were outshot 18-8, but Marian Gaborik tied the game with 1:03 left in the second.

One would expect the Wild to then tighten up and try to play Lemaire's counterattack. Well, they did tighten up, only allowing 10 shots on goal while amassing eight of their own, but Marek Zidlicky once again found himself on the wrong end of a mistake, allowing Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa to come in on a 3 on 2 with just over a minute remaining. This time, Backstrom couldn't save the day, as Hossa tipped home the pass from Holmstrom to send the Wild out of the playoffs with 1:03 left.

Theoretically, they still have a chance, but it's beyond slim. They need to win Tuesday against Dallas, Friday against Nashville and Saturday at Columbus as well as needing help from the teams playing St. Louis, Anaheim and Edmonton.

Hockey Wilderness Three Stars

  1. Marian Hossa (1 G, 1 A)
  2. Pavel Datsyuk (1 G, 1 A)
  3. Cal Clutterbuck (1 G, 1 A)

Questions to Answer

  1. Will the Wild play the kind of counter-attacking game they did against Calgary? They tried, or at least I assume they did. Detroit is just too good.
  2. Will the NBC coverage slant so heavily toward the Red Wings that we're all nauseous? I didn't watch. You tell me.
  3. Will Marian Gaborik show off on the national stage? Another game, another goal for the best player in Minnesota. We'll miss you #10.
  4. With Detroit virtually cemented into the #2 slot, will they relax and give the Wild an easier game? 44 shots would say no.
  5. Is today the day the season comes to an end? It does indeed.

Notes

  • The Wild are three points out of the final playoff spot with three games remaining. This is likely to change before the Wild play Dallas on Tuesday.
  • The Red Wings became only the third team in HHL history to win 50 games in four straight seasons.
  • Marian Gaborik has seven goals and 10 points in eight games since returning.
  • Marek Zidlicky is a -14 on the season. That is the worst mark for a defenseman on the team.

Game Highlights


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