For Vancouver perspective, please visit Nucks Misconduct
Well, if the Wild only had to play one period of hockey to win games, they would be unstoppable. With just nine days left in October, the problems this team faces are becoming clear, and none of them have easy answers. The power play is terrible. The ability to make smart plays late in the game is non-existent. The first line is non-threatening. The third and fourth lines are leading the team.
None of this is good.
This game was more of the same, and everything we have come to expect from the Wild this season. A lack of shooting, too many pretty passes, not enough sustained pressure, lack of ability to convert on the chances they are given.
Vancouver did not play the greatest game in their history either, but it was eerily reminiscent of the Red Wings game. The Wild started out solid, playing their game, taking some shots, putting on a strong forecheck. Then the second period started and the Canucks started to play their game and the Wild forgot to play theirs. The Sedins were allowed to cycle, the defensemen allowed to drop bombs from the blue line, and zero pressure on Schneider.Oh yeah, and Brad Staubitz took yet another stupid penalty that cost the Wild.
Somehow, the Wild came out with a 2-1 lead after two.
When the third period started, it was clear the Wild weren't altogether too keen on winning this game. The top line had some looks, but again couldn't convert. The Canucks absolutely owned the third period, and the Wild simply hung on for dear life to get the point.
In OT, things looked slightly better, but then Carrot Top took over Dany Heatley's body and slashed Ryan Kesler's stick in half while Kelser didn't even have the puck. Quite simply one of the stupidest penalties I have ever seen a player take in the NHL.
The Nucks waited a minute or so, but then Sami Salo pounded home a shot from the blue line, and it was all over.
Nick Johnson was the best player for the Wild tonight. Please exlain to me how Brad Staubitz continues to get minutes while Johnson sits? Johnson plays Yeo's system perfectly, makes the right moves at every turn, and yet Staubitz gets the playing time despite taking stupid penalties and offering little to nothing when he is in the lineup. Let Staubitz have some time in the press box, and let Johnson show this team how the system works.
One point. Let the silver lining show if you would like. The Wild are still winless against opponents of any quality. The problems are mounting, and no sign they will be resolved. A point against the Nucks is good... but if that is the mentality all year, it will get ugly fast.
- 5 of the last six have gone to OT. They have only played eight games.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard had just 13 minutes of TOI.
The Bennett's Chop & Railhouse of the Game:
1. Daniel Sedin (1G, 1A, 5 SOG)
2. Sami Salo (GWG, solid play all night)
3. Nick Johnson (1A, best Wild player tongiht)
Remember, when you begin and end your night at Bennett's, you're the star! Easy parking, drink and food specials and a free shuttle to and from the Xcel Energy Center. Check them out at http://bennettschopandrailhouse.com/.
- Can the team defense shut down the Brain Eaters? Nope. Not even close.
- Do the Wild score with more than 1.2 seconds left in the game? Yeah, but not enough times to matter.
- Can Heatley fire up his 2011-12 season? No. Dear lord, no.
- Does anyone, anyone at all, care to step up and take the lead for the Wild? Nick Johnson. Whic means he'll probably be benched as soon as Latendresse comes back.
- New question - who takes over for the now MIA Marek Zidlicky? Zidlicky was once again terrible. Marco Scandella is the best offensive D-man on this team right now.