Stop me if you've heard this one before.
The Wild came out in the first period on fire. Outplaying the Oilers, getting chances, and winning battles. Kyle Brodziak took advantage early, scoring two (yes, two) in the opening 5:48 of the first period. Let me say this one more time... Kyle Brodziak had two goals in the first 5:48. Are you kidding me?
Ales Hemsky would pull the Oilers back within one, but Guillaume Latendresse, who by all reports bounced between the second and third lines tonight, added a third goal for the Wild at the 12:48 mark. The goal from BTE would turn out to be the eventual game winner, adding to the question... why is this guy still serving out his sentence on the checking lines?
The Wild left the period with a two goal lead, having killed one of four penalties taken in the first.
In the second period, the Earth would tilt, and the Oilers would own the period. Or is it that it was the second period, and the Wild just don't play second periods? At one point the team had been out shot 12-1 in the period, and they took an additional three penalties, killing all of them. The amount of penalties this team is taking is ridiculous, and comparable only their NFL counterparts. Against the Oilers, this type of play might fly. Against the Red Wings, Penguins, or Capitals... they give up eight goals.
Continuing with our often heard
joke game recap, the Wild came out somewhat flat in the third period. They continued the march to the peanlty box, taking another three penalties in the final stanza, tying a team record for powerplays against with 10. However, this time, the Oilers would make them pay for it. Shawn Horcoff would tip home a Jordan Eberle shot, pulling the Oil within one, and finally making the Wild pay for their sloppy play.
At this point I asked the Twitterverse "Do they finally wake up now?" Not immediately, but yes, they did. What they did do was start stepping up at the blue line, fighting in the corners, and winning faceoffs. After yet another penalty taken by the Wild, nullified by a horribly stupid interference call against Tom Gilbert, the Oilers would pull Nikolai Khabibulin with 2:09 left in the game, and playing the "high risk, high reward" card.
After a schtoink off the right post, Brent Burns would make a pool shot off the boards to seal the game with a goal from almost as far away as you can be and still be on the ice for a goal.
Positives and negatives, yet again for this team. They pulled out a win, so the negatives are dulled a bit, but they were out worked for much of the game. This pattern is not going to play well once the Wild start facing playoff teams and as teams start to button up on defense. They are playing sloppy hockey, taking too many penalties, and eventually it is all going to mount and bite them in the rear.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars:
1. Niklas Backstrom: (34 saves, this win is all his)
2. Kyle Brodziak (2G)
3. Brent Burns (1G, 1A)
- Can the Wild forget the ills of the past and win on the road? They certainly won, but it wasn't pretty.
- The Wild played an amazing game on Tuesday. Do they follow it with a good effort, or do they follow it with a soft effort? They followed it with what can only be called a "Wild" effort.
- Are "The Kids" as awful as they were on the 14th back in Minnesota? Hall was outrageous tonight. This kid is going to catch fire, and then... watch out.
- Can the special teams continue to carry this team? The OK certainly did, yet again. As for powerplays... yeah right.
- Can Guillaume Latendresse solidify his place on the second line? From what I gather, he was up and down all night, but scored a goal while with the second line. You tell me.
- BONUS: Can the Wild put together a 60 minute effort? Nope. The pot of gold still sits at the end of the rainbow.