Enemy perspective: Fear The Fin
Let's see if we can't sum this one up in a single sentence fragment. Brent Burns -4 on the night. That should about sum it up. Oh, you want more? OK.
It gets really old typing the same things over and over. The fact that the Wild came out flat, showed very brief flashes of solid play and eventually just gave up should not surprise anyone. They were absolutely out played tonight. For the first time in recent memory, the Wild actually led the game in SOG, but not a one of them was worth the rubber used to earn it.
Nabokov was not tested at all, and Backstrom was left hung out to dry again and again. It was not clear tonight what the game plan was, but the offense was non existent, the Wild could not control the puck, the power play was a joke, the team defense was laughable, and the forecheck was invisible and weak.
The first goal of the game came from Wisconsin native and thriving Wild killer Joe Pavelski on a beutiful move that Backstrom had no chance at. This would become a theme throughout the night, as on all three goals given up by Backstrom, the defense simply packed it in and left Backstrom to do all the heavy lifting.
The Dany Heatley goal in the second period was a prime example of how not to defend your own zone, and had to leave Martin Skoula saying, "Great defense on that play." Heatley powered past three Wild players and skated around the defenseman and slid the puck past Backstrom who had zero chance to move across the net fast enough to stop it.
The lone bright spot of the game came as BTE (Latendresse) scored a power play goal after a full minute and a half of brutal power play puck control. Towards the end of the second period, the Wild seemed to have just a shred of dignity and maybe a bit of life, but it would be all for not, as 17 seconds into the third, revered Wild fan favorite Torrey Mitchell scored from the point for his first goal since December.
Mercifully, Joe Thornton added an empty net goal to put the Wild out of its collective misery and send the Wild back on the road. It's all about playing out the season now, folks.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars:
1. Rob Blake (3A, 20:54 TOI)
2. Ryan Clowe (2A, 17:49 TOI)
3. BTE (1G, 2 SOG, 16:36 TOI)
Five Questions to Answer:
1. Star Wars characters on the ice between periods? WTF? Sure enough. Pictures and everything. Still not quite sure why, though.
2. Nik is back. How's this going to go? Not well.
3. Will Wellman play well (get it?) again? Sat most of the second period. Seemed afraid to mix it up when things got physical, but all in all, still a pretty good game.
4. How is Greg Zanon still playing? Seriously? He's Zuperman.
5. Will Dany Heatley drive a Ferrari into anyone? No Ferraris, but he did run over the Wild tonight. Hopefully they have a team bus back to the airport.